Eric S Brown
At the start of the 1990s, many creators were leaving Marvel and DC Comics to start companies of their own or to work for independent publishers. Valiant was one of the new publishers that popped in that era, helmed by Jim Shooter, who had left his position as Marvel’s chief editor. Harbinger was among the more successful titles that Valiant released.
Harbinger: Children of the Eighth Day is a trade paperback that collects the series’ first four issues. Its opening is a bit slow and tough to endure at times but if a reader can make through the bulk of issue 1, the storyline really picks up firing on all thrusters. . . at least until everything goes sideways with a strange issue about aliens on the moon that feels utterly out of place.
All in all, Children of the Eighth Day is a fun read despite its issues but one has to wonder if Shooter didn’t simply bring the plot and character concepts from Marvel’s 1980s, “New Universe” title, D.P. 7 to Valiant with him for the book. The plot centers around a group of superpowered teenagers on the run from the evil Harbinger organization which seeks to use their powers for its own dark purposes. Both D.P. 7 and Harbinger focus on truly normal people with powers being hunted down by an evil corporation/organization. Both books also feature an overweight, female hero and a primal looking strong man in their team’s lineup. D.P. 7 was perhaps the longest running of Marvel’s New Universe titles so it’s easy to understand how Valiant obtained an equal level of success with Harbinger.