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Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:19:49 pm

If anyone would like to hear our OTV:VCR podcast discussing/reviewing this issue [& XO Manowar [2017] #17, & Britannia: Lost Eagles Of Rome #1], please follow the link;

http://onlythevaliant.com/episodes/vcr172/

Thanks to any who listen in :thumb:

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:30:36 pm

Hated HW3, and Xo is not good for me.
I think the guy in xo what ever his name is is divinity manipulating events to cause Aric to do something.
I am NOT enjoying Valiant at all. And resent it at this time.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:53:50 pm

I sincerely thought this issue was a steaming pile of wtf. Not sure how this mini-series has turned into such a big hot mess. I really can’t stand it, and am deeply disappointed by HW II so far, other than the prelude issue.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:57:18 pm

Where are Solomon and Alpha?

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:34:39 am

I liked it. I liked this whole event. It really tugs at who on who's side you should be on. At that is what a good war story is all about, cause both sides in war, view themselves the heroes.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:52:23 am

Terrible issue in what is a very disappointing event series. The prelude was great. This is so bad on so many levels that I really don’t want to look at any of the Beyond titles if this is the sort of mess we can expect. As a fan who has read pretty much every single issue Valiant has published since 2012 I cant express how disappointed I am.

I hope the new guys at Valiant are reading the fan reactions so they can make amends, I for one, probably won’t be around to see it though.

Also, what the hell is going on with Bloodshot? Where are the Secret Weapons? Wtf just happened between Palmer and Ninjak? None of this crap makes sense.

I wish there was a way to get my money back.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:56:20 am

grendeljd wrote:I sincerely thought this issue was a steaming pile of wtf. Not sure how this mini-series has turned into such a big hot mess. I really can’t stand it, and am deeply disappointed by HW II so far, other than the prelude issue.


+1 I feel exactly the same.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:04:40 am

The Outcast wrote:I liked it. I liked this whole event. It really tugs at who on who's side you should be on. At that is what a good war story is all about, cause both sides in war, view themselves the heroes.


I get what you are saying, but when the characters themselves stray so far from who they have been portrayed, it's just frustrating!

Satan Bloodshot? Really? I always try and be as positive as I can when it comes to all Valiant books, but this I'm just shaking my head. Please let this be some form of hidden meaning or something. It's not like his transformation makes him any stronger. Satan Bloodshot and his stupid *SQUEE* horns... I get the wings (although equally as stupid), but *SQUEE* horns?

I was ready for Palmer to bite the big one, when Animalia was about to tear him in half. THIS would have been a great tie in to the Faith Dreamside series, with little Animalia getting her revenge, but not feeling any better about her decision to kill. I know there have been zero deaths so far.... Missed opportunity right there!

I will say I am looking forward to what happens to Bloodshot after he either breaks away from Livewire, or is set free by her. He is going to go through a real *SQUEE* off faze, remorse, etc. Here he has become a father, has learned so much about who he is, and even had a back door put into his memory by Livewire so that no one could take him over, yet the one person he trusted with his mind betrayed him. THIS could be interesting in the next installment of the Bloodshot series AFTER the Rising Spirit story is concluded.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:32:46 pm

All the build up to this; Renegade: Massacre, HW2 #0 coupons, Secret Weapons, the Prelude issue, etc. It's all for a whole lot of nothing. I can't believe some people paid $50-80 bucks for the zero issue! What a crock.

VEI hasn't made many missteps in my estimation. It's their constancy that I appreciate. I'd really only say DEAD DROP and SHADOWMAN END TIMES. (The end of UNITY could have been more polished, but I still enjoyed it). But HW2 is a a clusterf%&%#! What a waste of a build up. What a waste of the Gen Zero characters and the Secret Weapon characters. All the great work Lemire's done Bloodshot has been thrown away. Livewire's character has been badly mishandled. All I can do is shake my head.

I wonder if the story behind this story will ever come out? I'd love to hear what the original plans for this were before they decided to torpedo all their IP's.

This is bush league.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:37:18 pm

kinggirlfriend wrote: I'd love to hear what the original plans for this were before they decided to torpedo all their IP's.


I think knowing this will make it worse

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:41:51 pm

Aside from all the setup seemed to be for nothing, I didn't think this issue was that bad

But my biggest issue with all of this is it feels so rushed. I really dislike Valiant's insistence on making their mini-series 4 issues. HW2 could have been a 12 book mini-series easily to fit all the pieces together, the setup, etc. I feel like Valiant consistently does this...4 issues, number 1 sets it up, has some intrigue, issue 2 goes a little deeper, issue 3 often feels pointless or starts moving it towards something, and then the 4th issue always feels rushed to close it out. Eternity felt this way also, even the Divinity books felt like this. I don't get this meaningless insistence on doing only 4 issues. A much better solution would be have the core be 4 issues, and then have had other pieces of the story in Harbinger Renegade, X-O, Ninjack, Bloodshoot, Secret Weapons, etc. With all the characters involved, this could have easily been 12 books spanned across all the characters involved.

Just such a waste

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:07:00 pm

It's a seven issue series when everything is said and done. Longer than pretty much every VEI story arc so far.

#0
Prelude
#1-4
Aftermath

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:57:00 pm

markie7235 wrote:Aside from all the setup seemed to be for nothing, I didn't think this issue was that bad

But my biggest issue with all of this is it feels so rushed. I really dislike Valiant's insistence on making their mini-series 4 issues. HW2 could have been a 12 book mini-series easily to fit all the pieces together, the setup, etc. I feel like Valiant consistently does this...4 issues, number 1 sets it up, has some intrigue, issue 2 goes a little deeper, issue 3 often feels pointless or starts moving it towards something, and then the 4th issue always feels rushed to close it out. Eternity felt this way also, even the Divinity books felt like this. I don't get this meaningless insistence on doing only 4 issues. A much better solution would be have the core be 4 issues, and then have had other pieces of the story in Harbinger Renegade, X-O, Ninjack, Bloodshoot, Secret Weapons, etc. With all the characters involved, this could have easily been 12 books spanned across all the characters involved.

Just such a waste


I agree with all of the above.

I was definitely shocked by Satan Bloodshot... I had to flip back a couple pages and go... how did we get to... what...? I mean, that was new, right guys?

But that's not to say I didn't enjoy it. I think HW2 is a mindless blockbuster. So far there is no depth, and no connection to what we all thought was the big build. Unfortunately that's where a lot of the disappointment lies... but taken as it is, I actually am enjoying this and I'll be re-reading it once its finished...and I'll be waiting on a deluxe HC that has issue 0 included. It's not Dead Drop. But it's not the Valiant either. And I think that's because Kindt has to cram so much into the pages. Each issue has had a moment where he slows down and starts to tell a story... and it almost feels like a different story... and then he has to ramp up the action and show all the sides at work. He simply needs more room. I'd been okay with this not trespassing into XO, Bloodshot or Ninja-K, but now I really think they should've delivered their angle to the story there.

Maybe the last few Snyder DC events have just lowered my expectations, but I'll take this over, METAL and NO JUSTICE any day.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:50:42 pm

Of the 4 issues to date, the prelude is above and beyond the best, #2 I thought was ok, I liked seeing a bunch of my favorite characters together and I thought the story was pretty meaty and action packed.

As for #1 and this garbage... well it's just garbage.

I did have a think bubble while reading this when BS turned into Demon-mode that perhaps, he isn't Bloodshot at all, rather Alpha (that's the monster-dude from Harbinger Renegade #0 isn't it?)... if that turns out to be true, it would explain the completely-out-of-character-Bloodshot we're seeing in this event...

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:01:12 pm

As a long time reader of SA Marvel, I'm not shocked by seeing factions of heroes go up against one another. So my opinion is not as harsh. I'm still enjoying it.

I'm also a little curious about the change in color for the lettering late in the book for Bloodshot and Tama. Something else may be at play here.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:26:35 am

Well that was something. I don't think it's garbage like a lot of people on here tend to think, but it's EASILY, without question, the worst event Valiant has ever published (since 2012). It's just rough, and almost every page leaves me thinking, "huh... now why did they decide to do that?" :? The art feels rushed once again. Giorello's work is sloppy and sketchy. I don't know why he's refusing to work as hard as he did on X-O and Ninja-K. The framing and panel layouts are just strange. I think it comes off as a potentially good idea, but the final product feels cheap. That said, some of the action in here is really spectacular. Guedes' pages are actually significantly better than I thought they'd be, but a lot of panels are so grain-y and dark. It's just kind of off-putting. Faith is absolutely atrocious to the point that I can't look at her face more than a couple seconds. As for the good? I'm legitimately interested in the shifting alliances, and I think if there's anything this story does right, it's moral ambiguity. Now, that's not saying much because the sides are so muddled, but it's something.
Pg. 1- What the actual f*** Matt? TADD was adorable. Why would you start the issue off with me smiling and enjoying myself and immediately shift into "this is literally the saddest, most depraved story ever." This page is a great metaphor for how I feel about the series as a whole. I open up the book thinking, "aahhhh yea, another fun and exciting Valiant event!", but then it just becomes needlessly sad and depressing.
Pg. 2- Hey, Bloodshot's acting like a human being.
Pg. 3- Tama's calling him a terrorist and ripping off his arm? I thought she was all peaceful and kind and caring and empathetic. What is this?

WrathOfArmstrong wrote:Maybe the last few Snyder DC events have just lowered my expectations, but I'll take this over, METAL and NO JUSTICE any day.

I disagree wholeheartedly. No Justice, and especially Metal (even more so, if you include all the tie-ins), are miles beyond HWII at this point.

Bl00dsh0t wrote:I did have a think bubble while reading this when BS turned into Demon-mode that perhaps, he isn't Bloodshot at all, rather Alpha (that's the monster-dude from Harbinger Renegade #0 isn't it?)... if that turns out to be true, it would explain the completely-out-of-character-Bloodshot we're seeing in this event...

I had the same thought process and got a little giddy for a second. I'm like 98% sure Bloodshot is not Alpha.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:16:42 am

Bl00dsh0t wrote:Of the 4 issues to date, the prelude is above and beyond the best, #2 I thought was ok, I liked seeing a bunch of my favorite characters together and I thought the story was pretty meaty and action packed.

As for #1 and this garbage... well it's just garbage.

I did have a think bubble while reading this when BS turned into Demon-mode that perhaps, he isn't Bloodshot at all, rather Alpha (that's the monster-dude from Harbinger Renegade #0 isn't it?)... if that turns out to be true, it would explain the completely-out-of-character-Bloodshot we're seeing in this event...


Interesting idea, but I doubt it

For one thing, everything we know of Alpha, which isn't much, seems to imply he would not play nicely with others. I just don't see him working with Livewire, and for that matter, despite some of her questionable actions, Livewire working with Alpha knowingly seems a greater stretch.

Also, how would Livewire be communicating with Alpha? Clearly seems to be tapped into the nanites to communicate. And again I know we don't know a lot about Alpha's abilities, but there's been no indication of shapeshifting as one of them.

Something else I know people have mentioned in other threads previously is Livewire's controlling Bloodshot, but I definitely got the impression from this issue that that's not the case here. Bloodshot seems to be aware and fully partnered with Bloodshot. Why? No idea, no explanation on how he got there, why he would team up with Livewire, etc. The only thing I can think of, which again is why there needed to be a tie in to the Bloodshot book, is because Omen is part of the anti-psiot group, Bloodshot is a nemesis of Omen, therefore the enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of scenario. That seems to be the only thing that makes sense, but again, it's like we are left to make this leap of logic on our own because it's never outlined or stated anywhere ever. He's just there

I'm curious about the Aftermath at this point, and the Livewire series after this book. Livewire's actions prior are very questionable and could result in a lot of death, but nothing tragic had happened yet. In this book though, Bloodshot basically slaughtered everyone on the Love Boat, Livewire definitely knows it, seems on board with it. Even though Bloodshot did the killing, she sanctioned it, so this part I feel sinks Livewire's hero's credentials drastically. I feel this is the most out of character part of the book for me that no one else seems to mention yet. While she hasn't necessarily shyed from killing when needed, she's never shown any support prior for wanton reckless slaughter like we see here.

I don't mind the story event, but I feel the damage to some of the characters being done in this book, especially Livewire may be a little much. I guess we'll have to see how it ends, Aftermath, and the new Livewire series to see if this is truly a directional change and pivot point for her, or if this was just a bad story with little thought for continuity.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:00:40 am

markie7235 wrote:
Bl00dsh0t wrote:Of the 4 issues to date, the prelude is above and beyond the best, #2 I thought was ok, I liked seeing a bunch of my favorite characters together and I thought the story was pretty meaty and action packed.

As for #1 and this garbage... well it's just garbage.

I did have a think bubble while reading this when BS turned into Demon-mode that perhaps, he isn't Bloodshot at all, rather Alpha (that's the monster-dude from Harbinger Renegade #0 isn't it?)... if that turns out to be true, it would explain the completely-out-of-character-Bloodshot we're seeing in this event...


Interesting idea, but I doubt it

For one thing, everything we know of Alpha, which isn't much, seems to imply he would not play nicely with others. I just don't see him working with Livewire, and for that matter, despite some of her questionable actions, Livewire working with Alpha knowingly seems a greater stretch.

Also, how would Livewire be communicating with Alpha? Clearly seems to be tapped into the nanites to communicate. And again I know we don't know a lot about Alpha's abilities, but there's been no indication of shapeshifting as one of them.

Something else I know people have mentioned in other threads previously is Livewire's controlling Bloodshot, but I definitely got the impression from this issue that that's not the case here. Bloodshot seems to be aware and fully partnered with Bloodshot. Why? No idea, no explanation on how he got there, why he would team up with Livewire, etc. The only thing I can think of, which again is why there needed to be a tie in to the Bloodshot book, is because Omen is part of the anti-psiot group, Bloodshot is a nemesis of Omen, therefore the enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of scenario. That seems to be the only thing that makes sense, but again, it's like we are left to make this leap of logic on our own because it's never outlined or stated anywhere ever. He's just there

I'm curious about the Aftermath at this point, and the Livewire series after this book. Livewire's actions prior are very questionable and could result in a lot of death, but nothing tragic had happened yet. In this book though, Bloodshot basically slaughtered everyone on the Love Boat, Livewire definitely knows it, seems on board with it. Even though Bloodshot did the killing, she sanctioned it, so this part I feel sinks Livewire's hero's credentials drastically. I feel this is the most out of character part of the book for me that no one else seems to mention yet. While she hasn't necessarily shyed from killing when needed, she's never shown any support prior for wanton reckless slaughter like we see here.

I don't mind the story event, but I feel the damage to some of the characters being done in this book, especially Livewire may be a little much. I guess we'll have to see how it ends, Aftermath, and the new Livewire series to see if this is truly a directional change and pivot point for her, or if this was just a bad story with little thought for continuity.


Excellent points about Livewire’s character. I think it has been brought up before in discussions of previous issues that some damage is being done to her via this storyline, but certainly this issue adds to the total. The reasoning & impact of the story feels really hollow when you consider the character motivations for any of it.

It’s especially shameful that it all feels very rough, rushed & arbitrary when this event was planned so far in advance. Even taking into account that there were some last minute changes that clearly impacted the story we’re getting & allowing for that, this mini is a big letdown. It should seriously have been planned to cross over into XO at the very least, and probably Bloodshot as well.

You raise good points about him too. When did he have time to do this considering how busy he is over in his own book? How, when & why did he hook up with Livewire? There is just no weight to any of this! It’s one thing to juggle character appearances across multiple books when you’re Marvel or DC, and you just can’t line that stuff up over a vast publishing line (and no one cares anyway), but this is Valiant. The line is small & managable. And I don’t read Valiant comics every month hoping that they do the same heavily corporatized, homogenous superhero formulaic drivel that happens at the Big 2 that means nothing. These guys have a chance to do something better than just imitate the patterns of the big kids on the block.

It might seem contradictory to say I don’t want to read stuff like that when I’m also asking for an event to crossover into a couple of books - I don’t automatically correlate multi-book crossovers with corporate sales agendas, at least not when coming from a smaller publisher. It’s the story that matters. Valiant has proved in the past that they can do a big story that affects a couple of titles outside of a mini-series, and do it well without feeling like a bunch of cash-grab filler. They weren’t always perfect, but overall they’ve been really good.

Anyways, I’m ranting too much.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:08:53 am

I don't know, I find it all perplexing and disappointing. There's 3 editors credited and yet nothing feels edited :? The cover alone has a watermelon-head Bloodshot and 400 pound-face Faith that look nothing like that inside the book.

I don't understand anybody's motivations or even who the characters are supposed to be. Ninjak switches sides because 'they're just kids', but one of them has just turned into a giant ape and smashed a dude while another one has killed the power for the entire US (ramifications of which have kind of been ignored?). Just seems too quick and simplistic for a hardened James Bond type secret agent. Not to mention Bloodshot. Who should I even be rooting for? Livewire is the main character but barely shows up in the penultimate issue? Just confusing especially considering they've been building up to this and it's supposed to be the launchpad for a new phase of Valiant comics.

That's the disappointment. I love these characters and yet reading this makes me feel like I'm either being trolled or laughed at for wanting this to make sense. Kindt is running the show with the flagship title and major crossover and yet go to his twitter it's all just hype for his creator owned projects, no mentions of HW2. We as fans have invested years and $$$ into these characters that we love, I can't help but feeling dismissed by the creators and staff at Valiant.

At the least I can say the creators are just ill suited for this type of book. Kindt seems to be good at quirky sci-fi, maybe not epic summer blockbusters. Both of the artists in this seem talented but again not suited for this. The pencils and watercolor style with wonky perspective just make it hard to follow no matter how 'beautiful' it looks. But this is where editing comes in again, if editors these days don't do much asking for revisions(which seems to be the case across comics) at the very least they are responsible for guiding the direction of the stories and choosing the creators who will bring that vision to life. It seems like a massive misstep out the gate for this crew, and yet they're hiring more editors now (5 editors for 6 titles?) idk something smells fishy.

None of this gets me excited for 'Valiant Beyond', but maybe that's the point. They've said in interviews they are looking for new audiences, so maybe that means getting rid of the old one? Doesn't make sense but seems to be a common thing in comics these days. I'm about to throw in the towel though, spending $4 on this stuff is just depressing. Anyone want to start some new Valiant fan fiction?

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:45:37 am

Ryan wrote:I don't know, I find it all perplexing and disappointing. There's 3 editors credited and yet nothing feels edited :? The cover alone has a watermelon-head Bloodshot and 400 pound-face Faith that look nothing like that inside the book.

I don't understand anybody's motivations or even who the characters are supposed to be. Ninjak switches sides because 'they're just kids', but one of them has just turned into a giant ape and smashed a dude while another one has killed the power for the entire US (ramifications of which have kind of been ignored?). Just seems too quick and simplistic for a hardened James Bond type secret agent. Not to mention Bloodshot. Who should I even be rooting for? Livewire is the main character but barely shows up in the penultimate issue? Just confusing especially considering they've been building up to this and it's supposed to be the launchpad for a new phase of Valiant comics.

That's the disappointment. I love these characters and yet reading this makes me feel like I'm either being trolled or laughed at for wanting this to make sense. Kindt is running the show with the flagship title and major crossover and yet go to his twitter it's all just hype for his creator owned projects, no mentions of HW2. We as fans have invested years and $$$ into these characters that we love, I can't help but feeling dismissed by the creators and staff at Valiant.

At the least I can say the creators are just ill suited for this type of book. Kindt seems to be good at quirky sci-fi, maybe not epic summer blockbusters. Both of the artists in this seem talented but again not suited for this. The pencils and watercolor style with wonky perspective just make it hard to follow no matter how 'beautiful' it looks. But this is where editing comes in again, if editors these days don't do much asking for revisions(which seems to be the case across comics) at the very least they are responsible for guiding the direction of the stories and choosing the creators who will bring that vision to life. It seems like a massive misstep out the gate for this crew, and yet they're hiring more editors now (5 editors for 6 titles?) idk something smells fishy.

None of this gets me excited for 'Valiant Beyond', but maybe that's the point. They've said in interviews they are looking for new audiences, so maybe that means getting rid of the old one? Doesn't make sense but seems to be a common thing in comics these days. I'm about to throw in the towel though, spending $4 on this stuff is just depressing. Anyone want to start some new Valiant fan fiction?


Getting rid of old audiences for new ones. Sounds like the last jedi.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:26:39 pm

Remember 90's Image books? That's what this seems like*. Cool fight scene, betrayal/change of loyalties, cool fight scene. I would love to read the Heisserer plan for his section of the book, I think it would have added multiple layers to the story. It feels like a potluck that everyone brought dessert to, but no one brought the meat.

* I LOVE 90'S IMAGE BOOKS, but I was expecting more from this series.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:58:46 pm

TheFerg714 wrote: "huh... now why did they decide to do that?"


Well, I will grant you that. The motivations are all a little confusing, from Livewire to Bloodshot to Ninjak... even Tama.

And yeah. TADD disappeared in a hurry from the universe.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:45:49 pm

At least things are picking up a little, but I feel like this one's a bit phoned in. Art looks nice. Just very not emotionally invested in this event.

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:26:33 am

Didn’t hate it as much as some people, but it falls below what I was expecting.

Things I didn’t like: demon Bloodshot, Ninjak flipping sides so easily, Pete Stancheck looking like a 45 year old, Bloodshot’s arm growing back so quickly (what happened to needing protein?), Palmer saying ‘a little help’ seconds away from being ripped in half, Bloodshot killing innocent soldiers.

Things I liked: the action/pace

3/5 - should be better

Re: Harbinger Wars II #3 Discussion

Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:05:24 am

Yes, I am still a bit confused about how the historically compassionate and empathetic Livewire, who is risking everything to save the lives a of a few young psiots, somehow is "ok" with potentially devastating humanity with her actions and also with sending in Bloodshot to slaughter many individuals (see also people) on the Loveboat who she likely has a connection to via Unity.

Hell, even if she didn't have a connection, her complicit (direct) role in this level of bloodshed seems to be WAAAAAY out of character for her.
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