The first of Valiant’s Zero issues drops this week with Harbinger. Readers finally get to see the early days of Harada and how those early experiences shaped the man he would become.
Harada was a young boy when American forces dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. One would think that would be the traumatic event which would cause Harada to snap. However, this issue reveals that there is an even more fundamental loss which burns deeper than the atomic fire raining down from the sky.
Regular series writer Joshua Dysart crafts an issue which works as both a standalone story as well as part of the larger tapestry of Harbinger and the Valiant Universe. There are relatively few characters (only Harada is from the regular series) and no prior knowledge needed for a new reader to know. However, instead of being a throw-away issue for regular readers, this issue deepens our understanding of Harada as a character and shines a light on his fascination with the world’s oil supplies and his desire to create an army at his disposal. Instead of coming off as a despot, he comes across as a man who believes he understands the world’s evils and sees himself as the only one capable of saving humanity from itself.
The art team of Mico Suayan and Pere Perez turn in an visually stunning issue, giving the reader a sense of the world that was and the world that is. The world that was, the world of Harada’s youth, is bathed in reds and oranges, everything ready to burst into flame. But the world that is, the world in which Harada is gaining control, is neat and orderly with blue skies and air conditioning. A world where everything is in it place; a place that Harada chooses.
For people who have been curious about the Valiant Universe and are looking for a good sample piece, Harbinger #0 is the comic for them. For people who have been with Harbinger all along, Harbinger #0 is a fantastic comic which deepens and enriches the world of Harbinger and the Valiant Universe.