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Harbinger vol 1 s/c

Harbinger vol 1 s/c back

Joshua Dysart & Khari Evans, Matthew Clark


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

“You’re a unique and beautiful thing, even amongst unique and beautiful things, Peter.”
“I don’t get it. Why didn’t you come to me earlier? I mean, all I needed was someone to help me understand.”
“I know you better than you know yourself. You wouldn’t have accepted my help until now. This is an intervention. There’s nothing left on your path but absolute self-destruction.
“Living on the run. Self-medicating. Self-regulating. Dampening your own powers...
“You’re at the end of your rope, Peter. On the run too long. Making too many bad decisions. You’ve lost sight of yourself. The world is like you right now. At the end of its history. We can all feel it. But this ending wasn’t predestined. It’s all our own fault.
“We had the resources to craft a civilisation worth inheriting. And instead my generation were pigs at the trough. Now look, this is what we’ve left you. Our solipsism and greed have left you with nothing.
“But we can still course correct. If we set aside our self-destructive natures. All rise to our fullest potential. But I’m the only person on this Earth who can train you to reach that potential.
“I have a program for people like us. A safe place where you can learn about yourself. Find purpose... Happiness.”

Finally cornered by the men in black from the US government, on-the-lam, teenage Peter Stanchek is forced to unleash his psionic powers, which prior to now he’d been trying his very hardest to suppress with stolen prescription painkillers, to avoid capture and no doubt become the subject of some rather unpleasant experimentation. But, just when all hope seems exhausted, salvation appears in the form of Toyo Harada, a fellow psionic who to the outside world appears merely to be a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, when in fact he is the leader of the secret Harbinger foundation, an organisation with lofty ideals populated by fellow psionics rescued from the streets and authorities around the world. Most psionics require activation, making Peter, one of only three known psionics to have ever self-activated, something potentially very special, and Harada wants to provide Peter a safe haven in which to slowly explore and gradually develop his powers. After a lifetime of surviving precisely by trusting no one and living entirely on his wits, is Peter ready to be helped? And if he won’t be helped, might the consequences for him and everyone else concerned be far worse than he can possibly begin to comprehend?

Intriguing set up from Joshua Dysart, who co-wrote the brilliant BRPD 1946 and 1947 mini-series and also the vastly underrated UNKNOWN SOLDIER series recently on the Vertigo imprint. He’s created a strong central character here in Peter and a whole world of uncertainty surrounding him. This first volume certainly takes the story in a few unexpected directions, possibly a touch quicker than necessary if I’m being slightly critical, but it’s a damn fine chunk of speculative fiction, I must say. Good art too from Khari Evans who is clearly a close study of Bryan Hitch, this definitely put me in mind of AMERICA’S GOT POWERS in places, both in terms of the illustration itself and also panel composition. The cover art from Arturo Lozzi is also worth well a mention, and I did particularly like the one picked for the trade cover featuring poor Peter being swamped by dozens of voices pounding into his head from passers-by. I think if you enjoyed FREAKANGELS and are in the mood for something else of that ilk, which is admittedly a touch more in the superhero direction, this could very well fit the bill. I will certainly be reading it.
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