There is one big spoiler in this article this week, so if you don’t want to know who dies in Harbinger #23… stop reading now.
This month has been a big one for Valiant Entertainment. The release of X-O Manowar #25 last week was a huge milestone for the relaunched Valiant Universe and it included some great additional stories and art and kicked off the Armor Hunters storyline that is going to be the big Summer event. We get some other #25′s coming up in July and August and each of them will be just as great as this one was.
This week in Thursday’s Valiant Effort, I am covering two comics from Valiant. The first is bound to be a sad one as we finally find out which Renegade will die in the battle with Harada. The second comic continues the story of the Bonifaces and their battles with the loa. So, on to the reviews.
Harbinger #23 – Continuing the “Death of a Renegade” storyline. Last issue, the plan was revealed, and Harada was left with his pants down, although not literally, this is not that kind of comic. Peter and the team of Renegades knew they had been compromised and had setup a trail of psychic bread crumbs for Harada to follow that would spread his people so thin they would not be able to protect both targets… But, as Harada finds out, there were actually three targets and he was so blinded by his own arrogance, he missed that completely. Peter is in Pittsburgh dismantling Harbinger, the decoy truck was in Oklahoma where Harada was, and @X, Kris, and Animalia are in L.A. attacking the root of Harada’s power, information. Back in Pittsburgh, the battle is raging. Charlene and Faith bust in to save Torque from Ion’s lightning, and Charlene uses her powers to float Ion out the window. Faith is zapped by a stray bolt and begins falling, so Charlene dives out the window tackling Ion and hitting him with her flame powers while he wildly strikes out with his lightning. An unconscious Faith falls towards the ground following the fireball that Charlene and Ion become. Faith awakens in time to stop herself but not in time to stop Ion and Charlene from falling to their deaths. Very shocking, although not completely unexpected, because I do feel like Joshua Dysart has been distancing the readers from Charlene for a few issues now. The finale of this issue is another shock as Animalia finds her long lost brothers and sisters, Generation Zero, in the L.A. compound and they begin the fight for freedom. Next issue, it hits the fan.
Shadowman: End Time #2 – This issue continues the story of Jack Boniface and his father, the until recently deceased Josiah Boniface. It seems as though his father found some way to rid himself of the loa, slip its grasp and hide from it. The path that Jack is walking is treacherous and it may soon bring him face to face with his father. For now, Jack has entered the Land of the Dead to ask some questions of Baron Samedi. The Abettors come to the conclusion that what they heard was true and that Josiah is alive just in time to be run off the road by Jack who comes at them in full Shadowman mode to find out the truth. Jack goes back to Punk Mambo and asks for her help, but she is a little short on answers. Mambo gives Jack the directions he needs to get to his dad in the Voodou Lands. At the crossroads, Jack confronts his father, at least a totemic representation of him. They fight, go figure. The man that left his family attacked by the son whose anger is directed at the person he feels ruined their lives. How far will Jack go to find his father? Will he give up something that he loves? Will he bring back someone that he hates? Find out for yourself next issue.
That’s it for this week. Things are happening. Events are forming and people are changing. The Valiant Universe just gets stronger. A big thanks to Hunter Gorinson for continuing to keep me in the know so that I can keep you in the know. If you have missed any of my Thursday’s Valiant Efforts, check them out here, and tune in next week for more reviews. Remember, this Summer, Read Valiant First.