Written by: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Art by: Robbi Rodriguez, Colours by: Rico Renzi, Letters by: Hassan Otsmane-elhaou.
Peter Stanchek (The Harbinger) is a nightmare to the people of Psiot City. He bears an enormous amount of power, but he has awakened with no memory of who he is. Just letters on the wall “be better”. After saving the city from some of the Psiots that the Renegade (his alternate personality) had activated, he now wants to work on himself, and maybe adhere to the sign on the wall.
Faith saw her friend Peter die, so when someone shows up with similar features and powers she wanted to find out what was going on. Peter explains the situation and how he’s still trying to be the person the city needs him to be. They both know though that they need to stop the Renegade, and that’s not going to be easy.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a copy of The Harbinger, which made me forget how confusing it can be at times. Now that we're 6 issues in, I’m still unsure if that’s intentional or not. I assumed it was, due to the unreliable narrator that we have in Peter. There were times when I wasn’t sure who was talking, as I couldn’t see where the speech bubble was pointing, or it didn’t make sense from the characters' perspective what they said. Something I did like, was the pop culture reference that Faith was going to go all “both our mums names are Martha” on him. This was a funny comment that made me laugh.
Something that I really wanted to point out was what seemed like a passing comment actually, is a big character flaw in both Peter and Faith, and I very much doubt that it will be addressed. Peter has been saving lots of people around the city, and has started up what looks to be his own encampment where people can live without fear of being taken, as they are all Psiots. He then explains to Faith that he takes things like heat, food, and tech: “nothing anyone will miss”. Now he has just admitted to stealing. So if he is taking heat, the only way I see that happening is by syphoning off gas or electric from others, to ensure that his community has the resources. This is a comment that Faith doesn’t say anything about. I understand he’s struggling to be a better hero, but as an established hero, she should have told him it’s wrong to steal and that’s not what heroes do. They are meant to be a shining example of the best humans have to offer. So by Peter doing this and Faith not questioning it, it puts doubts about their characters for me. This wouldn’t be as bad if I thought there was a point to it, like if Peter needed to strive to be the better hero, and reflected that is this how someone in his position should act. But if Faith won’t call him on it, then I doubt this thread will go anywhere, and it just makes them both seem like disrespectful characters.
To make things worse, once she’s met the people, Faith makes another comment about how The Harbinger now steals “from normies and giving them to the Psiots”. Again this is just another disgusting thing to say from an apparent hero. Advocating for stealing from one group of people to give to another. In any other book, these two would be villains and this makes me question the writing decisions by the team.
The artwork by Robbi Rodriguez was more to my liking than the first few issues, however there was still the occasional choice that didn’t work for me. As you can see above, Faith's head just seems slightly off proportion to her neck, and her eyes are pointing in different directions. This drew me out of the story briefly, as it just felt slightly off, but other than that it was well laid out and was easy to follow.
Overall, a very confusing issue for many reasons I hope there’s more to come from Peter trying to challenge himself but I just get the feeling that we won’t see much better than what we get in this issue.
The Harbinger issue 6 was released on 30th March from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology
Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.