PopCultHQ Comic Book Review: HARBINGER RENEGADE #5

PopCultHQ received a review copy of HARBINGER RENEGADE #5 from Valiant Entertainment. Available this coming New Comic Book Day, Wednesday, July 12th, the creative team for this series features writing from Rafer Roberts, art by Darick Robertson, inks from Richard Clark, colors by Diego Rodriguez, and letters from Simon Bowland.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of the highly-anticipated fifth issue of…

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Cover A by Darick Robertson

HARBINGER RENEGADE #5
(“MASSACRE” – PART 1)

Written by RAFER ROBERTS
Art by DARICK ROBERTSON
Inks by RICHARD CLARK
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by SIMON BOWLAND

Cover A by DARICK ROBERTSON* (MAY171957)
Cover B by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI (MAY171958)
Cover C by CLAYTON CRAIN (MAY171959)
Wraparound Variant Cover by MARC LAMING (MAY171960)
B&W Sketch Variant by DARICK ROBERTSON (MAY171961)
Gold Foil Linewide Variant by MONIKA PALOSZ (MAY171962)

Harvey Award-nominated writer Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and superstar artist Darick Robertson (The Boys, Transmetropolitan) begin THE ROAD TO HARBINGER WARS 2 – Valiant’s seismic 2018 event – right here with a bang that will reverberate throughout the entire Valiant Universe…and claim the life of a major hero!

Toyo Harada’s former protege – Alexander Solomon, a “psiot” with the ability to predict and analyze potential futures – has been waiting for this moment. With the Harbinger Renegades – Peter Stanchek, Faith, Kris Hathaway, and Torque – now reunited as a result of his covert manipulations, his ultimate gambit can now begin. But he’s not the only one who has been watching. Major Charlie Palmer has just re-assigned a new division of the militarized psiot hunters codenamed H.A.R.D. Corps to active duty…and they’re about to bring a torrent of blood and calamity roaring into the streets of a major American metropolis for an all-out firefight.

The Harbinger Renegades. Livewire. Alexander Solomon. Generation Zero. Toyo Harada. Secret Weapons. Imperium. None of them are safe…and, when the smoke clears, a pivotal Valiant hero will become the first sacrifice of the massive Harbinger War that is to come.

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale JULY 12th (FOC – 6/19/17)


PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
Harbinger Renegade #5
Massacre – Part One

Holy $#*%! Massacre is right! When Valiant promoted the release, and death of a major hero, it had the industry buzzing as to who this individual would be. While the publisher has had a number of other widely-promoted titles as of late (X-O MANOWAR, SECRET WEAPONS), it won’t be until fans read the pages of the latest issue of HARBINGER RENEGADE that they realize the gravity of what is happening in the Valiant Universe because of this issue from this particular title. This issue is a game-changer and will likely have the internet in a frenzy…with good reason.

If you haven’t read the first four issues of HARBINGER RENEGADE, do yourself a favor and cop those first. This issue will hit even harder for you. But even if you haven’t or can’t before getting a copy at your LCS on Wednesday, you’ll still be in fine shape. The story, given that it kicks off a new story arc, is set up well as a jumping-on point for anyone. But do go out and get this book as it will be remembered as what has kicked off the upcoming HARBINGER WARS 2.

Writing:

While I’ve always enjoyed and admired the writing of Rafer Roberts, most notably for me in A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, it’s in HARBINGER RENEGADE #5 that gave me an eye-opener on this talented creator. His delivery and timing, which was so spot-on with A&A, has HR5 was on full display and presented phenomenally. His steady-paced crescendo to the ensuing battle couldn’t have been delivered any better. It grabs the reader’s attention immediately, sparks excitement within, and reached its pinnacle upon the shocking death. But it didn’t let up there! As clever as Roberts was with his wit in A&A, he’s just as adept at pulse-pounding action. This is a creator with incredible range and talent.

Art:

Bro. You had me at Darick Robertson. A fan of all his Valiant work, as well as THE BOYS and TRANSMETROPOLITAN, Robertson nails the look needed for this powerfully explosive issue. His attention to detail is paramount for an epic story arc like this to succeed and deliver. Quite frankly, though Valiant has had a cadre of talented artists in their lifetime, Darick Robertson is the artist you want for “Massacre” and hopefully for HARBINGER WARS 2. It doesn’t get better than this!

Richard Clark’s inks add remarkable definition to the characters in HARBINGER RENEGADE #5, most notably with Major Palmer of H.A.R.D. Corps. Though the mood is more somber and the battle occurs at night, the inker added appropriate shading to accentuate that mood all while pulled back enough to allow Robertson’s illustrations and Diego Rodriguez’s colors to not lose any of their prominence.

Speaking of Rodriguez, this is a colorist who is clearly skilled at giving characters definition. As great as Darick is with his art, Diego injects life into them and adds to the personalities Rafer is trying to portray within. Rodriguez is very well-rounded colorist and exceptional at mimicking battle-weary individuals and rough exteriors.

Simon Bowland’s lettering is the final piece of this well-crafted machine. His letters, and in particular the sound effects, intensify the already high stress factor of this epic battle and subsequent loss(es). When a letterer can add to the emotion of a comic, job well done sir. ‘Nuff said.

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:

The creative team on HARBINGER RENEGADE #5 have come together and put out their best for this dynamic episode in the history of the Valiant Universe. It’s apparent they realized the magnitude of Valiant’s future plans and they delivered an emotionally moving comic that will certainly be remembered. The creators killed it in this issue!

One of the reasons the death which occurs in HARBINGER RENEGADE #5 has such impact is thanks to Valiant Entertainment’s shared universe. When something in one comic series can affect any character and/or any title, you go from being a shocking incident in a series to being an event-level shakeup with lasting implications. If you’re already looking ahead to HARBINGER WARS 2, this is the catalyst for what will be the monumental event of 2018. We’ve only scratched the surface with the “Massacre” story arc, and by all indications, we’ve only begun to see the Valiant Universe-wide effect. HARBINGER RENEGADE #5 changes everything. Things will never be the same. The Road to Harbinger Wars 2 has begun!

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

5 Out of 5 Stars

Harbinger Renegade #5 can be pre-ordered on comiXology
or at your local comic shop and online retailers Wednesday, July 12th!

UP NEXT:

HARBINGER RENEGADE #6

Writer: Rafer Roberts
Artist: Juan Jose Ryp
Cover Artist: Lewis LaRosa

Item Code: JUN172070

In Shops: Aug 09, 2017
SRP: $3.99

A HISTORIC HARBINGER MOMENT!

After “MASSACRE”…witness the brutal beginning of the Renegades’ murderous new foe!

At the height of the Dark Ages, one of the world’s first psiots has made a terrible discovery: he is not alone. Lurking in the shadows, a mind as sadistic as it is powerful waits – a predator with a darkness so great, it will consume any rivals that dare reveal themselves. How will the secret of these legendary figures come to bear on the modern day…and how will it shape the catastrophic Harbinger War that is to come?

“MASSACRE” enters an insidious interlude revealing the origin of the Valiant Universe’s greatest threat, as Harvey Award-nominated writer Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and incendiary artist Juan Jose Ryp (BRITANNIA) plot the next step in the road to HARBINGER WARS 2!

 

 


Be sure to follow the creative team!

Writer – Rafer Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

Artist – Darick Robertson

 

 

 

 

 

Inker – Richard Clark

 

 

 

 

 

Colorist – Diego Rodriguez

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letterer – Simon Bowland

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher – Valiant Entertainment

 

 

About Jason Bennett 3512 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett