A Psiot runs from Livewire's hideout in Ohio while the rest contemplate if they are truly at war with the rest of the world. Charlie Palmer, X-O Manowar, and Ninja-K catch up with Peter Stanchek, and a battle ensues. Elsewhere, Livewire helps Bloodshot infiltrate the Loveboat, the airship headquarters of G.A.T.E.
Tensions continue to build in Harbinger Wars II #2, and the book continues to remind me of Marvel's original Civil War tale. That's still a good thing, and, to its credit, Harbinger Wars II has enough original ideas that it never feels like an attempted takeoff.
That said, a lot of those original ideas were arguably cribbed from X-Men comics, but Harbinger Wars II is still a compelling read.
The battle of Stanchek against Manowar, Ninja-K, and Palmer is a high point of the comic. Stanchek holds nothing back and uses his abilities to take the three men's minds apart like tinker toys.
The fact that we don't know if Livewire is completely controlling Bloodshot is an interesting angle too.
There is a genuine argument for both sides of this war. I find myself falling on the side of Livewire because it's an overt metaphor for minority oppression, but her destruction of the U.S. power infrastructure and likely killing people by doing so is alarming.
Tomas Giorello and Renato Geudes split the art on this one, and the comic looks incredible as a result. Giorello brings his hyper-detailed and textured style that fits the fight scenes of the comic excellently while Guedes' incredible photorealistic style suits the calmer and subtler scenes excellently. Diego Rodriguez colors both halves of the comics with skill and care, and the full book is outright beautiful for it.
Harbinger Wars II #2 is a tense escalation of the story's conflict that grabs the reader from the get-go. The plot is interesting, the characters are mostly engaging (with some few uninteresting figures, but there are a lot of characters so that will happen), and gorgeous artwork. This one earns a recommendation with ease. Check it out.