Review: Harbinger: Omegas #1 (Valiant Entertainment)

Harbinger Omega #1 coverValiant Entertainment’s latest spin-off Harbinger: Omegas #1 kicks off a new chapter for our favorite psiots, Peter Stanchek and Toyo Harada. With a story that is sure to please existing fans of these characters, but will it give new fans a good place to jump on?

Harbinger Omega #1 coverPublisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Colors: David Garcia Cruz
Covers: Lewis Larosa, Glenn Fabry, and Donovan Santiago
Price: £2.99/$3.99 from ComiXology

Harbinger: Omegas #1 is divided into two separate stories – one centering on Toyo Harada, and one on Peter. If you haven’t yet read the final arc of Harbinger, we highly recommend you do so for a little background as to how we got to this point, but here’s a recap of this issue.

Toyo Harada and a group of psiots head aboard the U.S.S. George Bush for what the world believes is Harada’s surrender. In reality, Harada has concocted a plan to take over the nuclear warship and take everyone on board hostage, using the Marines as his personal enforcers on the ship. He also has brought along a group of psiots – superpowered beings – to neutralize the rest of the naval and aerial forces guarding the U.S.S. George Bush and embark to an as-yet-unknown destination. In front of the world press, Harada warns that anyone who opposes him will be destroyed.

Meanwhile, Peter Stanchek is seen living a solitary life, hidden from the world through his own psionic projections which render him essentially invisible. When Project Rising Spirit agent Tull captures Kris, and learns that Peter is still alive, Tull leaks the information to the press. Peter leaves the confines of his hideout possibly in search of answers.

Joshua Dysart proves once again why he is the perfect writer for these characters. The issue starts off strong with Harada’s story and it is fascinating to see the extents to which Harada will go to get what he wants. Harada is a strategic mastermind, taking only those psiots which he needs to take over the aircraft carrier on which he is supposed to surrender, a force so small that no one suspects what he could be up to.

Peter’s story is a little less interesting, but only in that it lacks the action and suspense of the first half of the book. Peter is hiding himself from the and using projections of his dead friends as his sole companions.

It was great seeing Charlene (Flamingo) and Joe again, even if they are still dead and only projections in Peter’s mind. It was a little creepy knowing that Peter is having sex with a figment of his imagination, but really shows his state of mind. Over the last few arcs of Harbinger, Peter had showed a good deal of character growth, but after the death of Charlene, the disbandment of his team, and his battle with Harada, his mind is defeated and he seems to have reverted to the person we saw during the first arc of Harbinger – a worthless, purposeless junkie.

Rafa Sandoval does a great job in this first issue. This book is his first work for Valiant and as rabid as Harbinger fans are about these characters, shows a great deal of confidence from the higher-ups in his talent. The actions panels during Harada’s story are breathtaking and full of detail and finesse. Peter’s half of the story lacks action but is just as detailed and refined as the rest of the book. There are lots of facial close-ups in this book and Sandoval’s art does not disappoint. The panel where Harada breaks apart incoming missiles is one of the most detailed panels I have ever seen. A+

As good as the art is, it is David Garcia Cruz’s colors that really make this book stand out. Valiant has some tremendously talented color artists and I look forward to seeing more of Cruz’s work in this series and in the future.

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“Harbinger: Omegas #1 is a strong start to the miniseries. Harada’s half of the book was thrilling and showcased just how mad he has gone. Peter’s story was interesting but a little lacking. With strong art, and vibrant color work, this book should please new and old fans of Harbinger alike. Joshua Dysart – don’t ever quit writing these characters!”

This review comes courtesy of Martin Feretti at Valiant Central, the essential site for all your Valiant news, reviews and interviews.

Author: Martin Feretti