REVIEW: ‘The Harbinger,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Harbinger #3- But Why Tho

The Harbinger #3 is written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez, colored by Rico Renzi, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. It is published by Valiant Entertainment. Part three of “Be Better” has Peter Stanchek donning a new superhero costume and confronting the Warning, intending to end their reign of terror over Psiot City. All the while, he wages a mental war against his darker half, who is hellbent on killing him and becoming the only Peter Stanchek on earth.

This issue marks the debut of Peter’s new superhero costume, and under Rodriguez and Renzi’s creative hands it looks really cool. Rodriguez has clearly taken most of his design inspiration from Nightwing; Peter’s mask, gloves, and even his new chest symbol bear more than a passing resemblance to the former Boy Wonder. Renzi mixes it up with the color palette, using a nice mix of burgundy, navy, and neon yellow for the final costume. Peter’s psionic powers are also displayed as flashes of golden lightning flying from his eyes and head; the effect is akin to Zeus hurling lightning from Mount Olympus or Superman gearing up for a heat vision blast.

And if readers think Peter’s new costume is effective, the way he springs into action will definitely grab their eyes. Rodriguez and Renzi go all out with the splash pages, displaying Peter crashing through a roof, soaring through the air, and in the most striking image of all, unleashing a burst of psychic energy shaped like his Harbinger symbol. Otsmane-Elhaou also rises to the artistic challenge, imagining how hearing a person’s thoughts would be like. Thoughts take the form of wobbly yellow bubbles that eventually grow into sharper, more refined word balloons. Conversations between Peter and his darker half are displayed in opposing captions, with brackets surrounding them to represent the use of telepathy; Peter’s are a cool blue while his evil twin’s are a violently bright fuschia.

Lanzing and Kelly approach the superhero element of the book with the same thoughtfulness they’ve done over the past two issues, especially with how Peter is using his new identity to “be better”. Superheroes’ alter egos usually represent the ultimate version of themselves; Batman is Bruce Wayne’s concentrated desire to seek justice, Spider-Man is Peter Parker’s attempt to live up to the mantra of “with great power comes great responsibility”, and Superman is Clark Kent’s way of inspiring others to be their best selves. In that vein, the Harbinger appears to be Peter Stanchek’s way of balancing the scales in his own life. Though he’s tempted, he doesn’t use his powers to mentally rip apart the Warning’s minds. And when he returns to Psiot City, he is greeted with cheers and applause. This only makes the prospect of a battle with his evil self all the more intriguing.

The Harbinger #3 marks Peter Stanchek’s dive into superheroism and features some of the most visually arresting sequences I’ve seen in a comic all year. Whether you’re a newcomer to the Valiant Universe or a long-time reader, I definitely recommend picking up this series.

The Harbinger #3 is available wherever comics are sold.


The Harbinger #3
5

TL;DR

The Harbinger #3 marks Peter Stanchek’s dive into superheroism and features some of the most visually arresting sequences I’ve seen in a comic all year. Whether you’re a newcomer to the Valiant Universe or a long-time reader, I definitely recommend picking up this series.