The Harbinger #4 offers a compelling look into the minds of the hero and villain, and how their dynamic will push the series forward.

Review: THE HARBINGER #4 — The Battle Of The Self

The Harbinger #4, releasing on January 26 from Valiant Entertainment, completes this story arc on self-reflection.


Peter Stanchek is back from the dead without any memories. He doesn’t have any of his old life’s baggage weighing him down, and is trying to do right as a hero. But with him comes a villainous counterpart, the Renegade, harboring all of Peter’s rage.

Being Better Is Enthralling

Writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing tell a compelling story about the layers of Peter Stanchek. While Peter is trying to do good as the titular Harbinger, the Renegade serves as an enthralling foil. Unlike the optimistic blank slate Harbinger, the Renegade retains all of Peter’s traumas. The hostility the Renegade shows the Harbinger feels like a state of self-loathing conflicting with a need to be whole. Because of this, two different sides of the same person are beginning to tell the whole story. All of this results in a satisfyingly conclusive answer to where their memories went and the direction of the rest of the series. From the look of things, it’s going to be something to follow.

Looks Better Too

Some good page construction in interactionThroughout The Harbinger #4, artist Robbi Rodriguez uses the page spaces to present abstract talks between Harbinger and Renegade. In one of the two page spreads, the amount of panels and expressions tell stories of different intensities. Plus the way Rico Renzi’s colors are used evoke the dynamic between the two sides of Peter. Whenever Harbinger speaks alone, he’s in a dark place as though he’s helpless. Meanwhile when the Renegade speaks up, he feels like he’s in a line of fire with the mostly red colors surrounding him; it makes these stressful instances feel like he’s fighting for his life.

The Harbinger #4 climax

Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou probably demonstrates his best lettering in the one instance where the Renegade and Harbinger come to an understanding. When they’re speaking, they share a word balloon with their respective colors of red and blue. It feels like a full acknowledgment of their past and one another. That is until the Renegade’s influence starts to corrupt the Harbinger as the balloon distorts. It shows off an enthralling look into the relationship between these two halves of Peter Stanchek, especially once a typeface interrupts the corruption, allowing the Harbinger to overpower the Renegade with a blue word balloon.

Harbinger #4 Is All The Better

Harbinger #4 feels like a genuine highpoint in the development of Peter Stanchek. Both the Harbinger and the Renegade make up a great self-reflective dynamic. Despite them being the same person, they feel well thought out enough to exist independently. It feels like a classic archenemy relationship that will bring this series to great heights.

Jake Palermo
Jake Palermo
Greeting panel readers, My name is Jake but I never replace anyone or anything; I merely follow and fill in the gaps. I write stories and articles that help people piece together anything that helps them understand subjects like culture, the people who write their favorite stories, and how it affects other people.
The Harbinger #4 offers a compelling look into the minds of the hero and villain, and how their dynamic will push the series forward.Review: THE HARBINGER #4 — The Battle Of The Self