Harbinger Wars 2 is supposed to be the massive event of the summer from Valiant Comics. So far though, it’s coming across very stilted and underwhelming. As far as Valiant releases for this week, this is the best of the three, which gives me some cause for concern.
In the last issue, Livewire plunged America into darkness, shutting down all of the technology in protest over how psiots were being treated. Peter Stanchek was going around activating potential psiots without sticking around to teach them or even warn them of what the activation would do, and Bloodshot was taken over by Livewire (controlling his machine nanites). Cut to the present, and we get H.A.R.D Corps, X-O Manowar (notice he is on Earth now) and Ninjak chasing down Peter to try and stop his reckless behavior. Instead of an action-packed sequence though, we get Peter filling people’s heads with flashbacks (flashbacks and dreams will be a Valiant thing this week apparently).
Livewire sends Bloodshot to infiltrate The Love Boat (the air transport that H.A.R.D Corps has a secret to keep operating). These scenes are probably the best in this book, as it gives an insight into what lengths Livewire is willing to go to, to follow through on her threats. There’s also an out of control newly activated psiot and the psiot farmhouse safe space under attack but really, that was just set up.
I have to wonder if Matt Kindt is getting worn out on writing duties for Valiant or if the BIG SUMMER EVENT just didn’t pan out the way it was intended due to the shake-up of DMG taking over Valiant? The art by Tomás Giorello and Renato Guedes looks as beautiful as ever but it’s the story that just feels “off” here.
To make matters worse, the only book that has crossed over with Harbinger Wars 2 has been last months Quantum & Woody. The funny book had a crossover and had actual ramifications while in all of the other books this event is happening at some other point in the Valiant timeline. Ninja-K is taking place before HW2 and honestly, it’s the best book in Valiant right now. Shadowman is in his own head so he’s out of the picture. X-O Manowar is still trying to debate with himself whether he should return to Earth in his own book (obviously he does). Bloodshot is currently in 4002AD so yeah… this happened sometime in his past. So what we currently have is something being billed as a massive event that doesn’t feel very massive.
I hope that the next issue really kicks things off but right now, I’m tempering my anticipation. It’s still worth buying to see where it goes but at this point, it has a long way to go to live up to the hype.