Harbinger #1 Review

by Lindsay Young, CMRO Contributing Writer


Issue #1

Written by Joshua Dysart, Art by Khari Evans

Published: June 2012

The tropes of Harbinger might sound familiar: a kid with psychic powers, the ability to read minds and move things with his mind, on the run to avoid persecution. When he finally hits rock bottom, he’s contacted by a mysterious figure who offers him help—a place where he can learn about himself and his powers in a safe environment. Sounds X-Men-esque, doesn’t it?

While I won’t lie that I was occasionally comparing Harbinger to other stories in the back of my mind, I didn’t find the similarities distracting. What Harbinger’s premise lacks in originality, it makes up for in the details. Tone, atmosphere and dialogue are all stellar, and the artwork is evocative and, while not particularly unique, still very effective nonetheless.

The gritty tone and atmospheric choices give Harbinger a life and identity of its own, and the writing is good enough to make it an engaging read all the way through. There’s just so much going on, so many plot threads being established, but it never feels jumpy or disconnected. There are also a couple of really memorable images and scenes—the bleeding monk being my favourite. It all flows wonderfully, and it manages to build a strong base for what feels like a very large, ambitious story.

I’m curious to see where the characters are going. While I found the emotional drama convincing, I’m not sure what to think of our lead. Personality-wise, he seems to be all dilemma and little personality, and I’m not sure if he’s meant to be read as a victim of circumstance or if the mortality will be more complicated than that. That said, Harbinger is a well-done first issue overall.