REVIEW: ‘The Harbinger,’ Issue #8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Harbinger #8

The Harbinger #8 is written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez, colored by Rico Renzi, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. It’s published by Valiant Entertainment. Ever since he woke up in Psiot City, Peter Stanchek has worked to atone for the mistakes of his past, taking up the mantle of the Harbinger and protecting his fellow psiots. But he’s also had to face off against the twisted part of his psyche known as the Renegade, who’s activated the powers of multiple psiots with dangerous effects. Now, Peter is ready to take the fight to the Renegade with the help of his friends, Faith, Cici, and Ago.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this comic has a little bit of everything. There’s plenty of action, but there are also some surprisingly emotional moments as well. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to the final showdown between the Harbinger and the Renegade. Rather than ending in a flashy, destructive, superpowered battle, their confrontation is more emotional – and essentially comes down to Peter coming to terms with his actions as well as letting go of his guilt. It’s a testament to Lanzing and Kelly’s work on the title that this moment hits as hard as it does, which bodes well for their upcoming Captain America title.

The series also manages to wrap up its ongoing plot points while leaving room for a potential sequel. This is a rarity in the comic book world, especially when it comes to established characters. I can’t count how many times creators have either had their series canceled in the middle of a run or departed due to the dreaded “creative differences.” But The Harbinger is different; it feels like a story that has a beginning, middle, and end. Maybe this will be the end of one story, but the ending of the issue hints at even more adventures for Peter and his friends.

Since this is the grand finale, Rodriguez and Renzi push their artwork to the limit – and that’s saying something, considering the quality of the issues that came before this one. The biggest moment comes in a pair of two-page spreads that feature Peter and the Renegade facing off against each other, similar to the fourth issue. One of these spreads has the Renegade shattering glass and forming it around his fist, creating a massive gauntlet that he uses to sock the Harbinger in the face. The second moment features twisting strands of yellow energy that form into the shape of Peter’s mask as he gathers psychic energy into his body. That same bright yellow is present in Otsmane-Elhaou’s narrative captions, which take the shape of scraps of paper. Combined with the third-person narrative, it feels like the entire series is a first-hand account of someone who saw this entire battle in-universe and wrote it down, which lends the entire series a mythic element.

The Harbinger #8 closes the book on Peter Stanchek’s latest adventure, with the creative team bringing plenty of action and emotion to the table. I hope that we see more of the Harbinger in the future, especially with a Harbinger film in the works at Paramount. Valiant’s flagship title deserves nothing but the best.

The Harbinger #8 is available wherever comics are sold.


The Harbinger #8
5

TL;DR

The Harbinger #8 closes the book on Peter Stanchek’s latest adventure, with the creative team bringing plenty of action and emotion to the table. I hope that we see more of the Harbinger in the future, especially with a Harbinger film in the works at Paramount.