Four Letter Nerd

4LN Comic Review – Book of Death: The Fall of Harbinger #1

Series: Book of Death: The Fall of Harbinger
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Art: Kano
Publisher: Valiant

Summary from Valiant Database:

A showdown. An apocalypse. An ending.

Many years from today, Peter Stanchek, the Renegades, the Harbinger Foundation, the Bleeding Monk, and Toyo Harada’s Imperium all reach their terminus, as the entire planet becomes the battlefield for the most devastating psionic combat humanity has ever seen. The Great Destroyer, long prophesied and foreseen, comes to Earth at last. Who will survive…and what will be left of them? New York Times best-selling writer Joshua Dysart (IMPERIUM, HARBINGER) and blockbuster artist Kano (THE DELINQUENTS) journey to the far end of the Geomancer’s BOOK OF DEATH to reveal the final, unavoidable end for two of the Valiant Universe’s most powerful foes.

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The Book of Death series has been one of the most consistent events I’ve read.  Each issue has been top of the line and Fall of Harbinger carries on that tradition.  Fall of Harbinger follows an elderly Peter Stanchek, one of the most powerful psiots alive and the main character in the Harbinger series, as he faces his arch-nemesis, Toyo Harada, one last time with the fate of the Earth on the line.

The previous one-shots, Fall of Bloodshot and Fall of Ninjak, were each strong in their own way.  Fall of Bloodshot was a incredibly poignant and, as weird as this sounds, fittingly anti-climactic.  Fall of Ninjak was a little more lighthearted and had plenty of action, but was still incredibly strong.  Needless to say Fall of Harbinger had a lot to live up to with the previous issues setting the bar so high.

So how did it stack up?

Fall of Harbinger might be one of the best single issues from Valiant I’ve ever read.  It was one of those books that once you finish it, you just sort of stare out the window for a while and ponder the fragility of the human experience… or at least that’s what I did…  Joshua Dysart, who wrote the first 25 issue run, writes a fantastic story that shows an almost perfect futuristic society on the edge of destruction, and one hero’s gambit to save the world.  I particularly enjoyed seeing the fate of Faith, who warrants a read of the previous run just because she’s such a great character.

While the story was excellent, I absolutely loved the art also.  Kano really outdoes himself on this issue.  The last several pages are cosmically beautiful, and very nostalgic.  I really enjoyed how the colors popped in this issue, the space scenes were beautiful and the futuristic Earth looks amazing.  The art and the story combined form a really powerful single issue, that is as pretty as it is heavy.

If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed this book.  Valiant is putting out some strong stories that deal with heavy issues, and Fall of Harbinger is no different.  Now if you haven’t read the previous 25 issue run of Harbinger there are a few spoilers, but it would still be relatively easy to follow thanks to the writing.  The good news is even if you haven’t read the previous run, this issue might just make you want to rectify that situation because it is so good.  This is definitely an issue people need to check out.  Head on down to you local comic shop, or visit our friends at Comic Collector Live and pick up a copy as soon as you possibly can.

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Cam Clark

Cam is a husband, father, and a fan of many things. In college, he wrote his senior thesis on Mythological, Philosophical, and Theological Themes in Star Wars, and now spends his days causally specializing in Star Wars, Tolkien, and cubical work. No relation to Bill Clark.

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