Seraph’s Sanctions: HARBINGER RENEGADE #6

Writer: Rafer Roberts
Art: Juan Jose Ryp
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT (August 2017)

 

 

The Breakdown: 

We are shown the tale of the Alpha, the first recorded psiot. The Alpha looked demonic and seemingly took an entire nation under his command. The holy knight known as Sir Gerald leads a group of 600 soldiers tasked with killing the Alpha and his followers. The ugliness of those times come to bear as the Alpha points out how holy men ordered Gerald and others to kill women and children. Sir Gerald fights his way to his last confrontation with the Alpha.  By the way, Ryp’s rendition of The Alpha kinda reminded me of Skeletor. Anybody?

The Bad: 

There isn’t any connection to what happened last issue at all. It is a one and done story … which isn’t bad, but there isn’t even a hint of how The Alpha will tie in with “Massacre” or the upcoming “Harbinger Wars 2.”  But that’s the only bad thing.

The Moment of the Issue: 

I love the fact that The Alpha, so called “demon”, stated that he did everything he did to get away from the Brotherhood, who’s holy mission excuses them from slaughtering many men, women and children.  Excellent way for the villain to not only get into the head of our main protagonist, but to the readers as well.

The Good: 

Ryp’s art is as wonderfully detailed and exquisite as normal. Ryp’s beautiful and gory detail shines through every single panel. If something is meant to look scared, Ryp illustrates it with prestine line work while Dalhouse’s perfect colors giving the art sanctity. Need something to look like a true horrific vision of war? Ryp and Dalhouse demonstrates that with gritty and bloody panel & line work. The sequential art is among Ryp and Dalhouse’s best yet. Emotion and action are captured brilliantly from panel to panel.

Roberts is clearly having fun with this issue as Roberts sets up this one and done story of a character that we will come to know in the future.  We get what seems to be a simple story of the Alpha, but Roberts makes the trip well worth it with tackling issues like committing atrocities for religion, what is actually right and wrong and the ugliness of war. Roberts make readers question the motives of the Brotherhood, The Alpha and Sir Gerald.  Roberts makes the readers think who is really leading who with “things that make you go hmmm.”

 

Alongside an engaging story, the narrative focus on Gerald and The Alpha, which is great as we are building up The Alpha. Roberts does that well without over exposing the character; leaving readers to be intrigued about his powers and what The Alpha can really do.

The Verdict:

This was a great one and done. We got a simple story asking some very complex questions. War is ugly. But does war give people an excuse to commit violent acts, including murder. What is the nature of evil? Roberts tackles these things without hammering them down our throat. Unfortunately, with no present day link to the Alpha … even a tease would have been great … it kinda feels more like an interruption to Massacre then an interlude. Sure, a lot of people died. But there’s no real tie in. I’d honestly would have felt better about this issue if it had came out first then the story in issue #5 came out this issue instead.  Still, it was a well paced and intriguing story. The art was superb from start to finish. There was such crisp detail that readers will definitely get engrossed by it. Besides it’s placement and lack of link to last issue story … this was a great one issue escape.