The Ninjabot

Review: The Harvester #1

Posted on February 11, 2015 at 12:39 pm by Tyler Waterman

harv1

Review: The Harvester #1

Written By: Brandon Seifert
Pencils By: Eric Battle
Colors By: Lee Loughridge
Letters By: Sean Konot

Review By: Tyler Waterman

Everyone loves a good urban legend. We tell them around campfires, turn them into movies, and some people spend their whole lives trying to prove their existence. Perhaps more than anything, we use them to teach lessons or control the behavior of our children, ensuring good behavior while continuing to pass these stories down through generations. However, if the Boogeyman is for scaring bad kids, who inspires fear in the hearts of bad adults? Who out-Boogeymans the Boogeyman?

According to Brandon Seifert, the answer is the Harvester.

The Harvester is a story about a supernatural force that punishes the wicked, and brings souls destined for Hell down to their final destination a bit faster than they may have planned. Like any urban legend, everyone knows the story, but no one believes he’s real. However, as a rowdy biker gang discovers in the opening scenes, the Harvester is anything but imaginary; he’s big, he’s strong, and he doesn’t hesitate to dish out lethal justice.

harv3

Yup, nothing imaginary about this guy.

It’s not hard to make an urban legend cool; however, it takes something special to make it different, and Brandon Seifert definitely accomplishes that. The concept of an eternal force that metes out justice isn’t anything revolutionary, but Seifert manages to make this feel fresh. As always, the devil is in the details. Seifert takes a familiar concept and surrounds it with new ideas, and to be honest, those saved this title from feeling like a book I’ve read a dozen times before. The coolest concept of them all is the “man in grey” that appears to be the harbinger of the Harvester’s approach. It wasn’t hard to get me interested in the eight-foot tall monstrosity punching motorcycles through windows, but thanks to that additional layer, I’m suddenly just as interested in how this works as I am in why. It’s a great move, and the main reason this book jumps from “that’s cool” to “I need to know more.”

For the most part, Eric Battle’s art is top-notch. His level of detail is extraordinary, with tons of detail in every panel; this clearly isn’t an artist who’s taking any shortcuts just to get pages out as fast as he can. However, I found that same amount of detail sometimes worked against the storytelling itself.  The opening fight scene is appropriately brutal, but was a bit difficult to follow, primarily because there was so much going on in the page. That, combined with a color scheme that relies a bit too heavily on shades of brown, makes for panels that tend to blend together a bit more than may have been intended. To be fair, however, I am nitpicking a bit; there’s absolutely nothing about the art that’s likely to turn you away. It’s also a testament to Battle’s skills that he makes that top hat look so cool! That’s not an easy thing to do, but I bought in the whole way.

harv2

That hat should not look that cool… but you can’t deny that it’s badass!

The Harvester #1 may be steeped in familiar lore, but don’t dismiss this title as something you’ve read a dozen times over. While the core foundation of this story may be commonplace, the story I see building on top of it feels anything but, and I’m genuinely excited to find out more about where this story is going. Once again Legendary comes out of left field with a title that feels original and fresh, a hard thing to do in the rapidly growing independent comic scene, and I tip my hat to The Harvester for defying my expecations. My exceptionally cool top hat, of course.

Writing: 8 out of 10
Art: 8 out of 10
Presentation: 8 out of 10

Readability: Accessible to new readers

Overall Score: 8 out of 10

 

The Harvester #1 releases February 11th, 2015, and is available digitally through comiXology or in print at a fine comic retailer near you.

Geek Legacy’s comic review system is based on three criteria. Both the writing and art each receive scores on a 1-10 scale. For writing, a 10 is the stuff of legends, while a 1 is legendarily bad. For art, a 10 is almost too beautiful to look at, while a 1 is also hard to look at, but not in a good way. Presentation refers to inks, lettering and layout, and is also graded on a 1-10 scale. Readability reflects how accessible it is to fans both new and old, and is strictly for reader awareness; it does not factor into the final score.

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos

    Tweets