Written by Joshua Dysert
Art by Mico Suayan & Pere Pérez
Colors by Brian Reber
Review by Adam Shaw
Last fall DC Comics had their zero month. The break in the main stories threw the pacing off in some of their books and wasn’t really needed in others. Valiant’s release of Harbinger #0 sees neither a break in the main story nor a halting of the series’ pace. It fits in well with the rest of the ongoing series and looks to be helping set up events for April’s Harbinger Wars.
Issue #0 focuses on Toyo Harada and a young psiot boy, Darpan. Like Harada, Darpan was born with his powers activated. The story shifts between Darpan’s mission and Harada’s childhood discovery of his powers. Harada is in contact with the boy via an earpiece throughout the mission to provide strength and keep the boy from becoming scared. Dysart uses this opportunity to provide a clear narrative that can jump between Harada’s past and the present.
Dysart shows us that Harada has not always been evil nor would Harada consider himself to be. Harada’s intentions have always stemmed from a desire to make things better for others and remove power from the corrupt. The younger Harada and Darpan share similarities in their naïve black-and-white view of the world, which provides a very interesting dichotomy with the present day conglomerate operating Harada. As they say, the road to hell is paved with pure intentions.
The art from Suayan and Pérez does a good job at setting the tone in the present day and flashback pages. Unfortunately, a page breakdown isn’t provided, but it looks as though each tackled a different time period. The present day pages with Darpan have a more cartoon feel to them with brighter colors; something that matches how a child might view the world. In contrast, Harada’s memories are much darker in tone and have considerably more detail to them. Normally, I don’t care for multiple artist in a single issue, but the two of them make it work.
Buy It. Harbinger #0 gives us an intriguing look into the past of the series’ main antagonist, Harada. The narrative, pacing, tone, and art all combine to provide a very solid issue that is one of the best Harbinger issues to be released. If you plan on reading the upcoming Harbinger Wars then pick this up.