Friday, February 15, 2013

365 Comics... 46: Harbinger #1 (2012)

It's free so why not.  Thanks Valiant and Comixology.

As I was saying yesterday with Shadowman, Valiant really seems to have a plan for their brand and they're sticking to it.  Beyond just the character-centricity of the storytelling all their #1 issues have had, they've also looked back on their 90's breakout popularity and deciphered what made it work.  Beyond the characters they are bringing in talented but undersung writers, people who know how to develop a story and build characters without requiring the ego fluffing.  By hiring reliable talent and not going for the gimmick and /or concession of hiring "superstar" talent, they have a roster of writers who aren't going to overshadow their stories.  The artist stable is much the same, all very capable storytellers who wont distract from the story with showyness.

Now, I should say that I like Superstar talent for what they do and how they do it, but I also acknowledge that they do it their own way which is what makes them stand out.  Valiant back in the day had a"house style" to keep a consistency across the line, which seems very much to be part of this revamp... it's not a rigid style but the consistency is key making one book approximately as enjoyable as the next.

In that regard I liked Harbinger #1 a little bit more than Shadowman #1 which I liked a little more than Bloodshot #1.  I liked X-O #1 a little more than any of them and I like Archer & Armstrong ever more than that.

Harbinger #1 really brought me back to reading the original series' first issue ever so long ago.  Much of the old Valiant line from then feels very of-the-era so this feels like a nice overhaul /reboot.  I hope it establishes a different relationship for Peter and Harada than what we may have already seen in the past but that old dynamic still looms over this issue largely. From what I have seen of Valiant so far however they seem very focussed on forging a new future more than reliving the past.

Its not the absolute best stuff on the stands today, but I think its some of the most accessible super-hero material out there.  A monthly $3.99 price point is about the biggest barrier to continued support.

1 comment:

KENT! said...

I should note that Valiant and Comixology seem to be cycling through what they're offering for free... I just seem to have lucked into finding and tucking most of them away for a later date.

Also digital copies are $2.99 an issue, while print is $3.qq