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Catching up with Valiant: Harbinger, Bloodshot, and X-O Manowar

Harbinger #12

harbinger012Harbinger Wars continues, but we focus here on the interaction of the usual cast with the freed psiots and how everyone’s dealing with the stress of their current situation. We also see Toyo’s continued machinations as his plans for everyone continue to unfold.

In some ways, for a fairly casual reader, this story’s all over the place. I honestly don’t have a completely clear mental timeline of this “event”/crossover where I could simply rattle off a lengthy summation of The Story So Far.

However, somehow I’m continuing to enjoy the individual issues, in and of themselves, being aware that there’s an overall story going on. It’s sort of like missing an episode or two of a tv series, having read basic spoilers online, and continuing onward. It’ll be interesting to see how this thing’s collected–whether we’ll get a nice, thick 12-issue volume collecting the entire thing, or three separate volumes (one for each series involved).

Bloodshot #11

bloodshot011I’m finding some blurring in my mind as to what’s been happening in this title itself (ditto Harbinger). Yet the story’s been solid–as has the art–and I’m thoroughly enjoying the “bigger picture” nature of Harbinger Wars: the larger story, and things unfolding in three issues per month rather than just one or two.

This issue gives us an expanded scene on the Harada Protocol, where the core of Bloodshot’s programming is to kill Harada–including the use/display of previously unknown abilities including a brainwave EMP and being able to puke the nanites into another person.

The story and art continue to be good, and as I actually read the issue, I enjoyed it; more than I can consciously reiterate details of the plot contained within this one issue. I’ve already been “spoiled” as to upcoming changes for this title that leave me a little curious…it’ll be interesting to see how things go, but it sorta sucks to already be thinking about that with two more issues to go with this current event/story.

X-O Manowar #13

xomanowar013This issue’s–I believe–the penultimate chapter of Planet Death, as I seem to recall #s 9 & 10 were to be “prologue” and the entire thing 6 chapters including those.

Aric finds himself faced with unforeseen choices as what should have–to him–been black and white is muddied gray once he’s had time on the Vine homeworld. There’s something to this issue that reminds me vaguely of classic Superman stuff, with Kandor and all–and it’ll be interesting to see how things actually play out in the next issue, as I think the issue after that involves the Eternal Warrior.

Nord‘s art continues to fit the character well, though I find that some pages seem rather light on detail while others look very good. Overall looking forward to the next issue, and quite glad to see this series last not only a full year, but seeing it on track for beyond.

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