Life and Death of Toyo Harada #2
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artist: Cafu, Butch Guice
Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse, Dan Brown
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Review by Josh Rose
Toyo Harada is the Magneto of the Valiant Universe. Except, he’s not. After surviving WWII and wanting to protect psiots, people with supernatural abilities like himself, that’s where the comparisons end. Toyo Harada has been working towards his dream of a Utopian society without war, famine, or poverty. Unfortunately for Harada, in Life and Death of Toyo Harada #2, entire countries and organizations are working against him and see Harada as a terrorist. And paramilitary group Rising Spirit has someone working in Harada’s inner circle.
Harada is probably the most interesting, or at least the most complicated character in the Valiant Universe. In Life and Death of Toyo Harada #2, Joshua Dysart dives into who Harada is and what drives him while throwing in a bit of betrayal and plots by others to stop him. The readers see and feel like Harada is actually working towards a just goal, despite the news calling him a terrorist. Dysart makes you feel like Harada is running out of time to fulfill his dream while also juxtaposing it with moments from earlier in Harada’s life.
Cafu does a great job drawing the modern day part of the story. His characters are full of emotion, but the Angela Vessel character creeps me out. Having no eyes is bad enough, but when it looks like they should have eyes… Well, Cafu is doing a good job then. Butch Guice’s art in the flashbacks to his youth is so full of energy. The panels are angled and make it feel like the ship Harada controls is actually in the middle of a storm.
The colours by Andrew Dalhouse and Dan Brown in the flashbacks are dull and dark, really lending to the feeling of a ship at sea, traveling through a storm overnight. The brightest colours in those scenes are when Harada uses his powers, and his eyes glow a bright yellow. In contrast, the scenes in the modern day are much brighter and more calming.
The Verdict: Check It Out
Life and Death of Toyo Harada #2 is a solid second issue that furthers the plot. I feel like you don’t need to know anything about the character’s history to enjoy this series but you’ll want to read issue #1, so you don’t feel like you missed any important details.