Saturday, October 14, 2017

Harbinger Renegade - Issue 8

My enemy's enemy

Story: Rafer Roberts
Penciler: Darick Robertson
Inker: Tom Palmer
Colors: Diego Rogriguez
Letters: Simon Bowland
Publisher: Valiant
Review by: Andrew McAvoy

The story opens with Kris Hathaway, leader of the Renegades, trying to explain the life choices that led her to her present position to her mother and father. Her parents, who are very conservative but loving types, try to explain the implications and financial difficulties her life choices, including her imprisonment and passing them stolen money, have had on them. They part ways without coming to terms with each other's positions, but the scene is a touching one. The reader knows that they care for one and other but it is simply that their world views are so opposite that they can no longer be reconciled. On her journey home Kris has exchanges with Peter and alludes to the fact that she may just need a smoke.

There is then a quick scene change and the action kicks in as we see the Major Palmer's H.A.R.D Corps blast their way through a location in St Paul Minnesota to track down Alexander Solomon. Interrogation conducted on the scene doesn't bear any fruit so they take the grilling offsite and do a tech sweep for intel. The scene then switches to the Renegade's farm where Animalia is demonstrating the effectiveness of hollow bullets to the squad using a pumpkin. It's all part of a training regime to turn their group into effective soldiers. There is a false alarm when a delivery guy arrives at the farm and their contingency defenses kick in. It transpires that he has been paid off to deliver to the farm a message with intel on potential soldiers for the cause. They wipe the delivery driver's mind and send him on his way.

Later that evening Peter and Kris are working out strategy, and decide to shake things up. Kris decides that it would be a good idea to take a leaf out of the geo-political negotiation book. Soon after they are surprising Major Palmer in a dark alley to deliver a ceasefire offer. Kris advises him that the Renegades are declaring a ceasefire and that if Palmer leaves them be then they will reciprocate in kind. If they don't and the Corps keep hunting down potential Psiots then the Renegades "will wipe [him] and everything [he] holds dear from the $%@£& Earth". As a sign of good faith they pass on their intel on Solomon. We are left wondering if Palmer will take them up on the offer, but one things for sure, there is no love lost between him and the Renegades crew.

Bits and Pieces

There is a lot packed into this book in terms of meaningful personal exchanges, tension, action, and a few laughs along the way. The art team have collaborated well to reflect those shifting dynamics on the page. As an issue it is paced well, and moves the story along nicely, teeing things up for the 0 issue next month, ominously entitled The Wrath of Solomon...


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