Valiant Debuts First Post-Revival Crossover: HARBINGER WARS

Bloodshot #9

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The revived Valiant Entertainment has been progressing steadily since the release of X-O Manowar #1 this past May — gradually adding more titles and creators to their publishing slate, as they re-introduce many of their long-dormant properties.

You can probably guess what comes next: A crossover, specifically one between Harbinger and Bloodshot, titled Harbinger Wars.

 

Teased late last week, Harbinger Wars starts in April 2013 and includes an eponymous four-issue miniseries co-written by Bloodshot's Duane Swierczynski & Harbinger writer Joshua Dysart, with art from Clayton Henry, recently of Archer & Armstrong. The story will also encompass four issues of Bloodshot (drawn by Barry Kitson) and Harbinger (drawn by Khari Evans) each, with 12 parts in total.

"It's the natural extension of what we've been doing in the books for about a year," Valiant executive editor Warren Simons told Newsarama. "When Bloodshot first launched, I told everyone at the time that the first couple of pages were going to have massive repercussions across the rest of the Valiant Universe. This is really a natural evolution of where Bloodshot and Harbinger both have gone, and where the stories have taken us."

 

The plot is described by Valiant as "Bloodshot vs. the Harbinger kids vs. Harada," with Peter Stancheck, Bloodshot and Harada fighting over the fate of around 20 young Project Rising Spirit escapees — a group that will include familiar faces to old-school Valiant fans (feel free to speculate accordingly).  The story spins out of events in this week's Bloodshot #6.

"Ultimately what the repercussions are, and where we leave the book, certainly will have ramifications with the Valiant Universe," Simons said, while stressing that each of the crossover's three sections can be read individually, and that the publisher values "accessibility" within their line.

Upcoming Harbinger

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Though Henry spent several years working at Marvel, this is his first time illustrating a major crossover story. Simons sees it consistent with what he dubs a Moneyball-type approach at Valiant.

"Going after incredibly talented guys who may be undiscovered, or haven't played as big a role at companies as we thought they were capable of," Simons said, describing the company's philosophy towards creators. "Our goal up here is to really just find the best talent available, to bring new talent up, to continue to elevate talent that we feel other people may not have recognized, but we feel think the world of."

Specifically, Simons views Henry as a stylistically appropriate choice due to the nature of the story.

"A lot of Harbinger Wars will be about these children and young adults who have these extraordinary powers," Simons said. "I think Clayton's an exceptional artist at drawing that type of stuff. He has an incredible control and command of his characters, and how they act. I think he's a natural fit for this."

 

Along with original Harbinger artist Khari Evans, Barry Kitson rounds out the Harbinger Wars art team, taking over Bloodshot art duties during Harbinger Wars He's new to Valiant, but previously worked with Simons at Marvel, on 2007's The Order.

"Barry has an extensive background throughout the industry," Simons said. "We feel like we put together a really nice lineup of talented artists and writers."

 

Crossovers and events are a part of life at Marvel and DC Comics — and frequently a major financial success. But Simons said that another motivator is that it simply makes sense for them to tell this kind of story.

"Part of the strength of the Valiant Universe is that it is a shared universe," Simons said. "What happens at Harada Global Conglomerate in Harbinger might effect what happens at Project Rising Spirit in Bloodshot. We do have a shared universe, and we feel like it's a really great thing to leverage the characters off of each other."

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