Well, Harbinger #16 is once again a very enjoyable issue of the series. Last issue ended with Kris supposedly killing Torque, but I think we all might have had a sneaking suspicion something wasn’t completely right with that situation. This issue dives straight into Torquehalla, Torque’s “misogynistic man-child ID-driven fantasy world,” as described by Kris at one point in the issue. That description is completely perfect in so many ways. Trolls fighting while a heavy metal band is throwing a concert? Check. Miller Genuine Draft fountain with scantily clad, dancing women? Check again. Goblin Slayer, the undefeatable haunted monster truck? Check it down one more time. Torque’s fantasy world is a young teenager’s wet dream, and perfectly captures Torque’s personality and mindset: straight metal.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the issue, so I’m going to try and be pretty vague here, but Dysart’s writing and character voices are great. Reading the issue, I was already suspicious of a certain character’s recent actions, and the change in personality was brought up to the forefront by another character. This really speaks to Dysart’s ability to play with his characters' personalities and voices, because, as a reader, you immediately begin to notice something is very strange, and that feeling really pays off at the end of the issue.
The art fits the book pretty well, but I think another artist could have really brought Torquehalla off the page with a more epic scope and layout. Not saying it’s awful, but it could have been a little more “metal,” and colossal. That being said, everything still looks pretty cool. I’ve always enjoyed the art in this book and this issue is no exception.
Harbinger is a book I’ve been enjoying since it's been published, and it’s only picked up in quality since Harbinger Wars. Speaking of Harbinger Wars, this issue connects to that series in the best possible way. The ramifications of events in Harbinger Wars are really felt in this issue, and that’s something an event comic should do for issues following the series. You want payoff from an event? Here it is, with actual consequences being felt afterwards, but not completely derailing the book’s previous storyline. Harbinger is still on track with its overall storyline and it’s great to see that kind of progression, even with big event ideas being thrown around. The Valiant universe is slowly expanding and quickly becoming one of my very favorites, and Harbinger is one of the series I can thank for that.
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