Spotlight: Thanksgiving Special Valiant’s The Fall of Harbinger

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Today, I will be taking a look at a book and series that I am super thankful for. Our main focus will be on Book of Death The Fall of Harbinger.

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Full disclosure, I was a bit leary of the idea of having futuristic endings of the Valiant characters in a storyline when I first heard about Book of Death.  But the truth is that seeing another story of Harbinger, even one that promises the potential demise of Pete Stanchek, had me excited for this issue.

And you know what? The creative team crushed it on this issue. They have delivered a stellar read that even addressed some of the concerns I had with the whole Book of Death concept.

The best place to start with this spotlight is with the writer, Joshua Dysart. The reason we start here is that Dysart has been the writer for the entire run of Harbinger under Valiant Entertainment.

The development and care he has shown for these characters and concepts really show in this issue as a sort of beautiful swan song. After all, this is how these characters go out. Isn’t it?

The writing is the constant that ties this story to all that comes before it, but it wouldn’t be such a beautiful work without the art of Kano. And man does this guy contribute. It looks like he pencils, inks, and colors the entire issue based on the creator page.

In that span of story, Kano’s art bounces back and forth between various points in the characters” lives and really sells the drama and the tension of the story. The use of color for some of the more cosmic scenes are both beautiful while showing the terror of what’s headed for Earth.

The final component of the team is the lettering of Dave Lanphear, which is expertly done. Everything in the issue reads clearly. It also looks great and without his efforts, a lot would be lost in the climax of the story. As this is a story about characters with mental abilities, there are times where we need to see what they are thinking.

At the end of the day, this is a wonderful issue and has won me over on the Book of Death concept. This story does what most comics don’t but probably should do. It ends. As much as we may hate it when things end, it really allows us to remember the characters and the stories we loved. We look back with fondness while reading their last moments.

While I do tend to avoid giving spoilers, it is worth noting that when you pick this up (if you haven’t you should), the idea of endings (yes, more than 1) is addressed in the book’s climax. It’s at this point that a whole slew of possibilities are opened up to the reader on where future Harbinger stories might go.

So pick this book up with the highest recommendation I could possibly give. If you haven’t done it read Harbinger and read Imperium as well. Why? Because Joshua Dysart and artists like Kano have made the books associated with Harbinger characters a master class in comic book storytelling.

They have consistently put out one of the best books on the shelves, and I can’t think of any other book that can top that. So go now. Buy the books. You can come back and thank me in the comments later.

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