OK – In the end, Harbinger volume 1, Omega Rising was not as crazy as Akira merged with Drugstore Cowboy but I have to say that for the first couple issues, it’s not far from it – in a very, very good way. Joshua Dysart‘s work on Unknown Soldier was extremely compelling and thought provoking (not in that cliche way) and I will forever look forward to trying anything he writes because of that but I had no clue what I was getting myself into when I picked up Harbinger. It’s just as well written as Unknown Solder but in a completely different way that will keep this reader (not a collector) coming back.
I was a little concerned that like Valiant is doing with X-O Manowar, they’d have Dysart repainting the Mona Lisa but this is far from the case – Dysart’s Harbinger is more than just a modern take on the old Harbinger origin. Dysart starts Pete Stanchek on the run, stealing mind-numbing drugs, making horrible decisions and headed into the arms of Toyo Harada in a wonderful way that forces Stancheck to not only hate Harada (not really a spoiler) but with a wonderfully deep complexity that was missing from the original series from many moons ago.
Dysart’s Harbinger: Omega Rising is an honest development of a super-powered-being, not from the moment he receives his powers but from the moment when he is first confronted by what will become his arch-nemesis. Omega Rising picks up in the protagonist, Stanchek’s life when he is forced to be accountable for the actions that he takes. Now, this is not to say that his life has not been complicated. Dysart does a great job of displaying moments in Stanchek’s life when things were bad. But it is in Omega Rising when Stachek turns the corner toward not just living through bad things in his life, but also doing something about them. Omega Rising serves as a great starting point for what I hope to be a long running, super-powered-being story.