Generation Zero Returns – Armor Hunters: Harbinger

Though it is hard to say exactly how many people were clamouring for this, Armor Hunters: Harbinger marks the return of Generation Zero and for this reader, it is a welcome one.  For those that may not remember, the team premiered in the pages of Valiant’s last big crossover entitled Harbinger Wars, of which they have been kind enough to include the first issue of in this collection.  The only negative that can be found with this whole book, is in fact that reprint as these additional issues that Valiant includes in certain trades can be both a blessing and a curse.  It is good for those newer readers who may not be familiar with the source material, but for the long-time reader, it feels like padding to keep the price point up on the book.  Aside from that little quibble, the series was executed exceptionally well and was very entertaining.

Front and center, as well as narrating most of the tale is team leader Christian, or Cronus as he is known as in the field.  We see Cronus and the team head to Mexico after the devastating attack by Gin-Gr, going to help out because it is the right thing to do.  At the beginning of every issue, writer Joshua Dysart frames Cronus’ narration against the backdrop of disaster, specifically the disaster they are in Mexico for and it not only lends an air of menace and doom to his words, but lets the reader know that what he says holds weight.  Cronus it seems, holds no sympathy for humanity, nor does he care for anyone except those in his little group.  Mankind and life have not been kind to him and his and if it were not for Generation Zero, he most likely would not be in Mexico.  In fact, if it were not for his teammates, he might have turned out to be a whole other person than he currently is and not for the better.

While obviously not taking place directly in the conflict, it does deal with the after effects and aside from Generation Zero; it also brings in former Renegades Faith and Torque to help out with the relief effort.  It is great to see the two together still as friends and as a couple and they add a wonderful dynamic to the book being the adults in the situation even though they themselves, are little more than kids as well.  With this event purportedly going to have long-lasting effects in the Valiant Universe, Dysart added in another angle by introducing politics to the scenario.  While the political landscape has been looked at or mentioned throughout various titles, sparsely at best, it looks like it might play a larger part going forward as man and Psiot collide.

What is really great about this title is the characterization that Dysart imbues our heroes with as each individual member actually acts their age.  It is a rare thing to find a superhero book featuring teens or children that sound like they should and it is a credit to Dysart and his talent that he is able to do so and do it consistently with every book that he writes.  Along for the ride is Robert Gill whose pencils are incredibly energetic and detailed and make this book twice the treat to read.  The only thing we are not privy to with this title is the fate of the rest of the Renegades or Toyo Harada.  Sadly, this book has nothing to do with the previous Harbinger title except for its association with it, and while it does not hamper it from being an excellent addition to the Valiant library, it would have been nice to at least get a couple of hints as to the fates of the Renegades.

All in all, the book is yet another great chapter in the ongoing Harbinger saga, one that gets better and more complex with every passing storyline.

4 out of 5

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