Comic Book Review: Harbinger Wars 2 #4
I’ve always wondered what a real war would look like when a fictional race like the psiots decided that enough is enough about the way they are treated in the world. So far for this Harbinger Wars 2, I have been impressed by the different perspectives of this war and how everyone involved is able to figure out where they stand on the situation. It made a big difference for those like Ninjak and X-O Manowar as well to realize what they weren’t just seeing on the surface. That was where the true fight for the future could begin.
For Livewire, I’m glad that her involvement was stronger for this final chapter of the war. I was a bit thrown off by the plays she was making from the sidelines at the start, but it makes more of an impact when she’s upfront and center taking charge of the war she started. Being able to get inside of her head at this time was also important. This was that time to address what she must be experiencing in these moments. The lives that must be lost in order for her own people to continue surviving, and where it is that she considers a point of no return. Everything about her attack on the LOVEBOAT was crossing that line that even I struggled with getting behind. There was the innocents aboard, the manipulation of Bloodshot, and even a kid who could have met the wrong end of a bullet. Livewire was truly in that mindset where the end justified the means. This creative team cleverly set this story up where you had to question if a victory could still feel like one after all that has been done, or could still be done.
Following up with Ninjak dealing with Palmer, I don’t think I have ever been more proud of this character’s decision-making skills. So much is wrong about the hunt for psiots like the kids Palmer was about to kill, and I’m glad this second war finally addresses the ethics this challenges. X-O Manowar’s perspective of the situation was a big contrast from Ninjak’s. Ninjak was able to see the clear corruption from Palmer because of his insanity when it came down to killing kids. X-O on the other hand had nothing to absorb but the fact that Livewire and Bloodshot were about to kill a lot of innocent soldiers on the craft that he used to work from. The final battle that ensued because of this was both intense and satisfying. You’ve never seen Livewire’s powers pushed like this, yet at the same time you’ve never seen her able to connect with someone like this either. How Livewire engaged X-O said a lot about who she was still trying to be despite everything she did for the sake of changing the world.
With the fallout from the war came with a big conversation that I appreciated towards the end. When you get down to those who are ground zero, everything has changed because of this war. Change doesn’t come easily, and not everyone is ready to accept that there can be a different world meant for psiots to be a part of. The conversation and argument stirred from their current situation hit all the right notes as cynicism met optimism about the future.
The narration of events was a point of interest since you could tell that this was a line of dialogue that came from the aftermath of the war. I suppose you could call it a debriefing of events that unfolded. It was interesting because it really left you wondering for a majority of the story, who won? The voice clearly was not Livewire’s, which created this sense of dread, and that holds your attention steadfast since at the end of the day, losing this war does not really ensure the protection of psiots around the world.
Tomás Giorello, Renato Guedes, and Diego Rodriguez pulled through by the end of this event. Honestly I was happier that Renato Guedes had a hand in this last stretch of the event, because we needed someone with a stronger hand when it came to the climatic events which unfolded. This is not to say I didn’t like Giorello’s style, because I’d have to be honest that it was fitting towards the dark tones of this war. Especially that involving the young psiot, Tito. The painted overlay worked in favor of focusing down on those serious moments. Now with that said, Guedes was exactly what we needed when it came to everything else, because whether it was the chaos within the crashing LOVEBOAT or Livewire versus X-O Manowar, that was where we needed real detail, quality, and range to our colors. I mean I was over the moon impressed by the creativity that went into what Livewire was able to create with space debris. The suit was intricate in design, and the adjustments to her costume itself was a good match.
Of all the hype, I think I can say that after the events of Harbinger Wars 2 #4, this was definitely the most impactful and ambitious Valiant event so far. Absolutely no one came out of this unscathed. I don’t know what fate awaits the psiots till next month, but for now this is exactly what you want to see when a group of people fight for their equality and safety in a world that fears/hates difference.