Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Harbinger,a blast from the DC past at a toy store near you!

Last Saturday,Little Sister and I were at Midtown Comics(it was LS's birthday,so we went shopping,our first stop being Sanrio Surpises which is a realm of pink covered cuteness)and when I went upstairs to check out the vampire puppet from Angel,I also discovered that there were Crisis on Infinite Earths action figures and one of them was Harbinger.

Crisis on Infinite Earths was a twelve part miniseries from DC Comics that came out in 1985 that was ment to not only entertain but as a way to narrow down the overflowing DC universe. I'll give you the Cliff Notes version of the plot:there are several earths(Earth 1,Earth 2,Earth Prime,etc)that slightly mirror each other and have alternate versions of such superheroes as Batman and Superman and/or similar types of good guys and bad guys. One day,a wave of anti-matter starts sweeping thru the universes,gobbling them up one by one. People,super and non,try to fight it but to no avail.

An all-seeing type called The Monitor knows what's behind this and decides to recruit heroes and villians from different worlds to stop the anti-matter tsunami. His assistant,Lyla,is the one who must bring them together and becomes Harbinger,a being who is able to divide herself into several replicates in order to be in many places at once(think Santa ever considered this option?). This method isn't foolproof,however which leads to one of her selves being corrupted by the Big Bad of the piece and ultimately being driven to turn on her mentor.

This,of course,was foreseen by The Monitor and his demise becomes a help,rather than a hinderance in the fight to save as many worlds as possible. Harbinger winds up losing her powers for awhile but still contributed to the battle by accessing as much of The Monitor's info to help the others. She wound up being one of the survivors of the Crisis and made a few other appearances in DC Comics,including a stint on Themyscira(aka Paradise Island,home of Wonder Woman).

So,what's so great about her? Well,first off,I liked how she was designed. Her whole entire look screams mystical warrior and while she didn't have any major fisticuffs with anyone,Harbinger certainly didn't seem like a weak sister. Also,by making her a savior who becomes a destroyer,it gives her some vulnerability which adds some depth to her character. The COIE series was written by Marv Wolfman who also did work on The New Teen Titans and created Raven,one of my favorite goth girls. The man knows how to write compelling superhero storylines that keeps the players from becoming superpowered stick figures.

Gals like her don't usually get much merchandising,let alone an action figure. Crisis on Infinite Earths does have a strong following still to this day and many people like me are happy to have Harbinger on their shelves,as well as Psycho Pirate and The Monitor. I think I'll just stay with Harbinger-she represents the best of the series to me. Why settle for less?

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