Harbinger Renegades #7
Writer: Rafer Roberts
Art: Darick Robertson
Colors: Diego Rodriguez
Can Babel be defeated?
What You Need To Know:
Psiots are essentially Valiant’s equivalent of mutants; men and women who have the potential for tremendous superhuman power. Unfortunately, humanity tends to hate and fear that which it does not understand. As a result, right now the Psiots are facing terrifying problems. The Government’s sent H.A.R.D. Corps – the super-powered Harbinger Active Resistance Division – to take down ‘rogue’ Psiots with extreme prejudice. In Harbinger Renegades #5, we saw H.A.R.D. Corp launch an attack on a city claimed as a beacon of hope by the so-called Generation Zero. Now, the remaining Psiots are reeling, horrified at the destruction.
What You’ll Find Out
This issue is essentially the emotional aftermath of Harbinger Renegades #5, amplifying the emotional impact of the slaughter at the freed city of Rook. It’s a painful, poignant tale that really drives home what it is to be hunted and persecuted. And it does so through a beloved survivor – Animalia, a Psiot who can create psychic animal forms.
What Just Happened?
The story kicks off by establishing how Animalia survived, and fans will feel a surge of relief that even one of Generation Zero escaped H.A.R.D. Corp. Rafer’s script is chilling, forcing the child to kill her hunters, while the artistic team create a real sense of darkness and violence. From there, we take a time-jump to two weeks later, and unite Animalia with the remaining organised Psiots – the Renegades.
Probably the star performer in this sequence is Diego Rodriguez, who uses colours to contrast Peter – a psychic who can wander around freely – with the terrified and angry Animalia. The scene opens in brightness and space, but soon leads us to dark corridors and corners. It’s not perfect, though; in my view, the facial expressions are a little exaggerated, with Robertson struggling to render Animalia’s face accurately. Still, the rest of the artistic team more than make up for that issue.
We’re soon plunged into a scene that twists a knife in our hearts, as Animalia goes to meet the mother of her close friend, Tara. Again, Rodriguez shines through; he uses warm colours to create a beautiful, homely style, emphasising the sense of grief and tragedy. Rafer uses this scene to draw out the emotions, providing an emotional catharsis for fans as well as for Animalia.
Moving on to the other characters, Rafer takes the opportunity to show how different people respond to such a staggering threat. Some choose love, some choose anger, some choose naïve hope. The emotional threads are well handled, and every character feels carefully developed. There’s a recurring thread of grief and loss running through the whole narrative, and it creates a tremendously poignant issue.
Finally, in a wonderfully handled campfire scene, Rafer brings the Psiots together and establishes a purpose. That scene will clearly become the launchpad for the next arc, with the Harbingers preparing to form a resistance movement. Their enemies have an army; now they must have one too.
A heart-wrenching and unforgettable issue, preparing us for the next all-action twist.