The majority of this volume is telling Toyo Harada’s back story from the loss of his mother in WWII to becoming the leader of the Harbinger Foundation. The Renegades are trying to find other kids with powers but it’s Harada and his association with Rising Spirit Securities – and organization seemingly at odds with him.
As much context as this volume gives, I don’t Harada as interesting as what the Renegades are doing. They may have come together as a team but they are woefully out of their depth in dealing with other people with powers and underestimate how far a reach Harada really has. And they fail spectacularly. But that makes the story all the more interesting. If everything was always perfect and rosy, then I would have dropped this series already.
Faith and Peter are now on the run and Harada is having Peter’s friend, Kris, followed. As a result, Kris decides to keep her family safe by going with Peter to recruit other people with powers to go up against Harada in the future; calling themselves the Renegades. Along the way they pick up Charlene; who has fire powers, and Torque; a paralized boy who can project a super strong man around his own body.
So far, this band of misfits is kinda funny and I like how despite the light-hearted concept of a bunch of super powered rebels may be, the danger they are in is quite real. They come together in a believable bond, knowing what they need to do and that they need to do it together. I still wonder what the Bleeding Monk’s prophesy meant – as he pops in for a second to help the Renegades – but I’m sure we’ll find out.
Peter Stanchek is a runaway teen with amazing powers. Using his powers to steal drugs to suppress them, he attracts the attention of Toyo Harada, head of the Harbinger Foundation. Harada uses his wealth and powers to train others with special abilities. Harada offers to train Peter so he won’t have to dope himself up in order to live a normal life but obviously, Harada has other motives.
Harada hits all the items on the list how to fail at recruiting someone. It’s almost comical. He thinks: “Hey, there’s this bullied, lonely kid with trust issues so let’s act super fucking shady, allow my people to bully him, and manipulate him into thinking he killed people.” I know it’s not as interesting but I’d like to see someone say “Hey. You have a lot of power and you may hurt people and destroy shit. We’d like to actively help you not to do that for just the selfish reason of not wanting to be one of the people you blow up. That cool with you?”
And I mean aside for the obvious good guys like X-Men and such.
That nitpick aside, this is intriguing so far. I like Peter and Faith and I want to know the deal with the Bleeding Monk who won’t die. Some interesting possibilities here.