Harbinger (comic book)
|Publication date||January 1992 - June 1995 (Valiant Comics)|
June 2012 - July 2014 (Valiant Entertainment)
|No. of issues||41|
|Main character(s)||Peter Stanchek|
|Created by||Jim Shooter|
|Written by||Jim Shooter (Valiant Comics)|
Joshua Dysart (Valiant Entertainment)
|Artist(s)||David Lapham (Valiant Comics)|
Khari Evans (Valiant Entertainment)
|Harbinger: The Beginning||ISBN 0979640903|
Harbinger initially featured writing and art by Jim Shooter and David Lapham. After Acclaim Entertainment purchased the rights to the Valiant catalog for $65 million in 1994, the characters were rebooted in Harbinger: Acts of God to make them more easily adaptable to video games. They continued to appear in many Valiant titles, most prominently the Unity 2000 series. Harbinger was one of the best selling Valiant titles with total sales in all languages of over five million comics.
Harbinger debuted with Harbinger #1 in January 1992.
In 2008, Valiant released Harbinger: The Beginning, a deluxe hardcover collecting the first seven issues. Harbinger: The Beginning reached #2 on Amazon.com’s graphic novels sales charts and within the top #300 of all books sold on Amazon.
- Toyo Harada - The most powerful psionic on Earth, Harada commands the full spectrum of psionic abilities, including telepathy, telekinesis, mind-control, and many other deadly talents. Fearing that humanity may eventually destroy itself, Harada decided early in his life to preserve the planet by clandestinely conquering it. To this end, he established the Harbinger Foundation to recruit others with paranormal abilities, whom Harada refers to as "Harbingers of the next step in human evolution". He seldom confronts his enemies directly, preferring to leave such dirty-work to his elite Harbinger warriors, the "Eggbreakers". With tremendous economic and political clout, Harada seems close to achieving his goals, and is ready to destroy anyone who stands in his way.
- Peter Stanchek (Sting) Sting is a psionic of extraordinary power and potential. Once a student of Toyo Harada, he decided to break away when Harada arranged the murder of Pete's best friend. Together with Kris, Zephyr, Flamingo and Torque, Sting tries to thwart the plans of Harada and his Harbinger Foundation.
- Kris Hathaway - Although not possessing super powers of her own, Kris is still an important member of Sting's renegades. Her level head and intelligence keeps the team together and in focus of their goal.
- Faith Herbert (Zephyr) Zephyr, known as Faith to her friends, has the telekinetic ability to fly. She is also able to generate a 'companion field', a telekinetic force field she can use as defensive protection against attacks for herself and/or others. So far, her field appears to deflect physical, kinetic and focused electromagnetic energy, though heat and other environmental effects may be able to travel through the field. When she expands her companion field to allies, she can levitate them within an unknown radius around her as she flies. Her force field allows air, ambient light, and sound to pass through but, at the cost of limiting the air capacity to support breathing within the field, she can intensify its impermeability to prevent even those phenomenae from entering her field. The companion field's carrying capacity is unknown. Founder of the Harbinger Resistance.
- Charlene Dupre (Flamingo) Flamingo has the power to generate and control flames.
- John Torkelson (Torque) Torque was a mechanic in Georgia before Sting released his powers of enormous strength and durability. In the beginning, Torque seemed very hostile and distant, but he has proven himself a loyal and valuable member of the group.
- Amanda McKee (Livewire) Harada recruited Amanda and other like-minded (in other words, violent) individuals into his Eggbreakers, the squad of enforcers who did Harada's dirty work. She was given the codename Livewire, due to her power to manipulate electromagnetic forces; she especially enjoyed using a length of magnetically animated cable as a weapon.
- Edward Sedgewick (Stronghold) was a member of the Harbinger Foundation of would-be Harbinger messiah Toyo Harada. Edward was given the nickname Stronghold and recruited into the "Eggbreakers" enforcer squad. He had the power to psionically absorb mass from objects around him and use it to increase his own size and strength to gigantic proportions. When he killed a fellow Harbinger, he realized that the Foundation was not right for him and fled with his partner Livewire. Stronghold and Livewire were later recruited by the Geomancer Geoff McHenry to battle villain Doctor Eclipse, a servant of Master Darque.
Toyo Harada is the first Harbinger, and unlike subsequent Harbingers he was able to make his powers manifest at will, or activate the powers of others. Other Harbingers exhibit powers only rarely and this activation is always brought on by severe stress.
Harada is an Omega Harbinger: he commands the full spectrum of psionic abilities, including telepathy, telekinesis, mind-control, and many other talents. He uses these powers to create a multinational corporation and amass a large fortune. Fearing the world is on a course to destroy itself, he plans to take it over and mold it to his specifications. To this end he creates the Harbinger Foundation, which actively searches for potential Harbingers (whose powers Harada triggers with his psionic abilities).
Pete Stanchek is a normal teenager until he develops Harbinger abilities. After seeing an advertisement he contacts the Harbinger Foundation. Harada is intrigued by Pete, who is the only other Harbinger to have triggered his own powers and who exhibits multiple abilities. Harada is no longer the only Omega Harbinger.
Harada tries to persuade Pete to join the Harbinger Foundation and become Harada's right-hand man, but when Pete's best friend, who had been vocal about his distrust for Harada, is murdered by the Foundation Pete realizes the truth.
Pete, along with Kris (a high school cheerleader who Pete had first been unconsciously mentally controlling so that she would go out with him) become renegades. They decide to recruit Harbingers themselves, activate their abilities, and form an army capable of challenging Harada.
Harbinger #0 (1993) from Valiant Comics' first volume, is the prequel to the Harbinger series and details how Peter Stanchek became involved with the Harbinger Foundation and came to oppose Harada. Each issue of Harbinger from #1 through #6 contained a numbered coupon. Each coupon also featured one panel of a six panel story by Jim Shooter that told the origin of Toyo Harada. A new hardcover collection (Harbinger: The Beginning) featured a new story by Jim Shooter, "Origin of Harada", which presumably fleshes out the story that appeared on the coupons. When a set of coupons was collected and sent to Valiant a copy of Harbinger #0 Pink Cover Mail Away Variant could be redeemed. The book became highly sought, reaching prices as high as $300 in back issue trading. A blue cover version was eventually released to meet demand. Today, the Pink Cover Mail Away Version of Harbinger #0 is still one of the most sought after Valiant books.
The #0 issue of the 2012 reboot explores instead the origin of Toyo Harada as a World War II survivor and his eventual endeavors with his conglomerate using the Harbingers was a war tool.
Awards and recognition
- Ain't It Cool News named "Harbinger" Best Superteam 2012.
- Comic Book Resources named Harbinger among the Top 100 Comics of 2012.
- A Comic Show named Harbinger one of the "12 Best of 2012".
- MTV named Harbinger one of "MTV Geek's Best Comic Series Of 2012".
- Harbinger was named among the "Top Twelve Titles of 2012" by Mind of Scott.
- Comic Impact named Joshua Dysart the Best Writer in 2013.
- CraveOnline named Harbinger one of the "Best Comics of 2013." 
- Ain't It Cool News named Toyo Harada Favorite Super Villain in 2013.
- Harbinger Wars was named Best Crossover for 2013 by Ain't It Cool News.
- 2014 Harvey Award Nominations:
- Best Graphic Album - Previously Published: Harbinger Volume 1: Omega Rising, Valiant Entertainment
- Most Promising New Talent: Pere Perez, Harbinger Wars, Valiant Entertainment
- Special Award for Excellence in Presentation: Harbinger Wars, Josh Johns and Warren Simons, Valiant Entertainment
Part of the original series has been collected into volumes:
- Harbinger: Children of the Eighth Day (collects Harbinger #1–4, softcover, Valiant, 1992)
- Harbinger: The Beginning (collects Harbinger #0–7 and new story by Jim Shooter, hardcover, 200 pages, August 2007, ISBN 0-9796409-0-3)
In addition, the new series (by Joshua Dysart) is being collected into volumes as well:
- Harbinger Vol. 1: Omega Rising (collects Harbinger #1–5)
- Harbinger Vol. 2: Renegades (collects Harbinger #6–10)
- Harbinger Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars (collects Harbinger #11–14, 0)
- Harbinger Vol. 4: Perfect Day (collects Harbinger #15–19)
- Harbinger Vol. 5: Death of a Renegade (collects Harbinger #20–25)
- Harbinger Vol. 6: Omegas (collects Harbinger: Omega #1-3 and Harbinger: Bleeding Monk #0)
Additionally, the series has begun being collected into Deluxe Edition hardcovers:
- Harbinger: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 (collects Harbinger #1-14, 0)
- Harbinger: Deluxe Edition Vol. 2 (collects Harbinger #15-25, Harbinger: Omegas #1-3, and Harbinger: Bleeding Monk #0.)
In other media
- In March 2008, it was announced that Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to a film adaptation, enlisting Brett Ratner as director. Alexandra Milchan, Jay Stern, Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari would produce. In April 2015, Valiant Entertainment, Sony Pictures and Neal H. Moritz's Original Film announced a five-picture deal to bring the publisher's heroes to the big screen, which included a Harbinger film. Moritz, Tony Jaffe and Dinesh Shamdasani will produce it from a script by Eric Heisserer. Harbinger will have a sequel and crossover film, Harbinger Wars, with Bloodshot. By November 2018, That Hastag Show reported that Justin Tipping will direct the film.
- The character of Faith was initially announced to appear in the web series Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe, although she ultimately didn't, but Livewire did.
- "Top 100 Valiant Comics". comicspriceguide.com. 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- Miller, Mark (February 25, 2013). "AICN COMICS 9th Annual @$$IE AWARDS Day Two". Ain't It Cool News.
- Cheng, Jennifer (December 31, 2012). "CBR's Top 100 Comics of 2012". Comic Book Resources.
- Haaland, Aaron (1 July 2013). "A COMIC SHOW: 12 BEST OF 2012". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- Gallaher, Valerie (2012-11-30). "MTV Geek's Best Comic Series Of 2012". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
- Stewart, Scott (January 6, 2013). "Looking back at the year in comic books". Mind of Scott. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013.
- "Simon's Best of 2013". Comic Impact.
- Gage, Christos (30 December 2013). "CraveOnline". Crave Online.
- "AICN COMICS 10th Annual @$$IE AWARDS". Ain't It Cool News. 6 March 2014.
- "AICN COMICS 10th Annual @$$IE AWARDS". Ain't It Cool News. 7 March 2014.
- Schedeen, Jesse. "THE 2014 HARVEY AWARD NOMINATIONS ARE REVEALED". IGN.
- Fleming, Michael (2008-03-10). "Ratner eyes Valiant's Harbinger". Variety. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- "Sony Pictures and Valiant Announce Five-Picture Deal to Bring BLOODSHOT, HARBINGER, and HARBINGER WARS to Big Screen". Valiant Entertainment. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- Murphy, Charles (November 27, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: Justin Tipping Set to Helm Sony's 'HARBINGER'". That Hastag Show. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- Wickline, Dan (August 29, 2016). "Ninjak, Confirmed As A Live-Action Web Series, To Feature X-O Manowar, Faith, Bloodshot, Divinity, Timewalker, Eternal Warrior And Savage". Bleeding Cool.
- Harbinger at the Comic Book DB
- Harbinger at the Valiant Entertainment wiki
- Harbinger at the Valiant Comics fan site
- "Jim Shooter Writes New Harbinger Story for HC Collection". Valiant Entertainment Inc. press release via Newsarama.com. June 6, 2007. Archived from the original on August 30, 2010.
- McLean, Tom (June 7, 2007). "Valiant's 'Harbinger' returns". Variety.com. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007.
- Smith, Andy (March 6, 2006). "The Ten Most Important Comic Books of the 1990s". SeqArt.com.