HARBINGER RENEGADE #7 by Rafer Roberts and artist Darick Robertson
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
HARBINGER RENEGADE #7 is a mellow, character-focused issue that succeeds because it focuses on its characters' internal turmoil.
88 %
TALK IT OUT

HARBINGER RENEGADE #7 is a mellow, character-driven issue that has no problem slowing down the story’s pace. With all the action in previous issues, writer Rafer Roberts and artist Darick Robertson seek to provide the Renegade team with some much-needed breathing room. Despite the laid-back nature of the issue, Roberts and Robertson still keep tensions high. While this issue loses some characters in the shuffle, this is an overall nice filler issue that helps flesh out each character’s core emotions.

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HARBINGER RENEGADE #7
Image courtesy of Valiant Entertainment.

Back on Course

This issue sets HARBINGER RENEGADE’s story back on its usual path. Following last issue’s strange one-shot interlude story featuring the world’s first Psiots (psychic mutant species), it was a relief to return to the present. It was also slightly disappointing to learn that last issue did not immediately connect to this one. Despite the last issue being entertaining, I feel like its impact would have been much greater if its story resonated immediately in this issue’s events.

HARBINGER RENEGADE #7
Image courtesy of Valiant Entertainment.

Hunting for Psiots

After the “massacre” a few issues ago, the Renegade team is in disarray. The future of the Psiots has never looked bleaker. The government continues to hunt down Psiots, and the Renegades are their only hope. HARBINGER RENEGADE #7 features the heroes deciding whether to attack their enemies head-on or keep hidden. Through a series of arguments, each team member gets their say. The issue sets the tone for the future of the series and sets a clear path for where the series is to go. By the end of HARBINGER RENEGADE #7 the team has made the difficult choice to find and protect the remaining Psiots.

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Rafer Roberts’ writing ping-pongs between each character’s POV as they discuss possible options in their headquarters. The team members each have their own nuanced perspective on the situation which helps to fill out the issue. Roberts balances HARBINGER RENEGADE #7 by giving each character their due. Despite the lack of action, this issue maintains a steady sense of tension throughout. The pacing never feels plodding, despite the issue’s many sit-down conversations, because the debate is so engaging. When the lives of thousands of Psiots are at risk, every decision holds the weight of the world.

HARBINGER RENEGADE #7
Image courtesy of Valiant Entertainment.

HARBINGER RENEGADE #7’s dialogue is sharp and tense. The main characters, despite being close friends, are all extremely on edge. The severity of the situation is palpable and evident in how quickly each Renegade member snaps at one another. Roberts ensures that dialogue quickly switches from friendly banter to sharp criticism. The reader is consistently kept on their toes.

The Big Three

This issue focuses in on Peter Stanchek, Kris Hathaway, and Faith, the three central members of the team. Roberts does a phenomenal job exploring the inner workings of Peter Stanchek and Kris Hathaway’s minds, but Faith’s characterization falls to the wayside.

Peter is an unimaginably powerful Psiot with a damaged past. He constantly wrestles with the impact that he could have in this brutal war.

Kris is a brilliant tactician and leader who knows that the fate of an entire people is in her hands.

Faith, in contrast, does not appear to have a clear conflict in this issue. She wants to fight, but is too noticeable of a hero to engage in covert ops. She must be sidelined for the time being. Faith is slightly disappointed, but we don’t look much into her head besides that.

Faith is essentially Valiant’s flagship character. It seems like she should be given for more to do in HARBINGER RENEGADE #7. Even Torque, a B-list Valiant character, gets a much more thorough arc in this issue.

HARBINGER RENEGADE #7
Image courtesy of Valiant Entertainment.

Looking the Part

Robertson’s art is detailed and flashy throughout this issue. His penciling favors big, bold circular shapes and wide layouts. There is a certain cinematic character to HARBINGER RENEGADE #7 thanks in part to these wide-screen layouts and a tendency to favor angled close-up shots.  Despite being made up of mostly conversations, the comic flows well. There is a good rhythm between the looks of these scenes and the visuals are never monotonous.

Overall, one aspect of the art falls a little flat. The backgrounds and scenery seem a little underdeveloped. There are a series of close-up shots where the backgrounds fade into one bold color. While in many situations, this stylistic choice is an exciting way to put the focus on a specific character’s face, when it is overused it can make the comic lose its sense of place. However, the art in the rest of HARBINGER RENEGADE #7  is strong enough to compensate for this slight misstep.

HARBINGER RENEGADE #7
Image courtesy of Valiant Entertainment.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, HARBINGER RENEGADE #7 is a welcome addition to the series and a very engaging issue. The debate between the characters is definitely a highlight. I hope that Roberts can incorporate these characteristics into some of the more of the action packed issues in the future.

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