Valiant Entertainment’s “Harbinger” series wrapped up with the game-changing events of issue #25, but writer Joshua Dysart continues the next chapter in the lives of The Renegades and arch-foe Toyo Harada in “Harbinger: Omegas” #1, along with artists Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona. Harada’s bold attempt at world takeover is recapped here, while The Renegades continue to lick their wounds, as Peter Stanchek falls back into his old, pre-Renegade ways and Kris Hathaway faces her fate.
The first of this three-issue mini-series reads as much as an additional epilogue to the main series as it does as a bridge to what’s next, but it’s carried by what Dysart has consistently done well throughout “Harbinger:” providing strong characterization, especially amongst the younger cast members. For all of Peter’s amazing powers, Dysart doesn’t forget he’s still just a kid, and one that’s attempting to cope with recent major traumatic events. Sadly, it’s a big step backwards for Peter in regards to his past vices, but Dysart establishes that at least Peter has a better, if still dubious, reason to lean on these vices than just about anyone.
With no powers to conceal her own presence, Kris’ freedom doesn’t last so long, but her arrest shows her to be as much a hero figure as Peter, if not more so. Crowds of supporters surround her even as she bravely stands up to her captors, and her confidence is how Dysart shows off her strength. Like Peter, though, Dysart reminds readers that Kris is also still a teenager, who ultimately seeks the comfort of home and her parents as her own coping mechanism stemming from the stress of her time as a Renegade, so needing comfort that she’s oblivious to the danger that awaits her.
Despite the differences between Peter and Kris’ situations, Sandoval provides artistic consistency between their plights with similarly laid out double page spreads for their respective introductions in this issue. Sandoval and Tarragona largely adhere to the look of past issues of “Harbinger” but not so stringently that they appear to be conforming to any kind of house style. They add some pretty interesting touches of their own; Harada’s clever method of disabling a missile is rendered with almost draftsman-like precision, and the cause of Peter’s altered state is captured with literal, and colorfully detailed, surreal imagery.
“Harbinger: Omegas” #1 is a lower-key issue and a transitory point between the past and future lives of the Renegades and their powerful foe, but is nonetheless an important part of the story’s progression.