Ian Melton writes from ECCC,
Harbinger Renegade is gearing up for big things in 2017 and into 2018, as the new arc "Massacre" was announced at ECCC by Valiant. The title of the arc is very straight forward and I got to talk to Harbinger Renegade writer Rafer Roberts about working on one of Valiant's flagship books, as well as his first title with Valiant, A&A The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong.
Implying lots of death to come for the Renegades, the rebel group of Harbingers who exposed Toyo Harada, the most powerful Harbinger around in the original Harbinger title, Rafer was coy about who might die except to say, "well I was told 'kill them all'", with a laugh.
The Renegades currently are dealing with the fallout of their exposure of Toyo Harada, the return of their most powerful member Peter Sancheck, and the new powerful Harbinger Solomon, whose goals do not involve good things for the Renegades who are trying to protect Harbingers throughout the world and not having a lot of success. Harbinger Renegade is written by Rafer Roberts and drawn by Darick Robertson, along with Juan Jose Ryp, both of who Rafer continuously praised. "I'm amazed they let me work with Darick, he's just incredible and every page looks so good. And working with Juan, he is just so fast … as an artist myself I'm amazed when I send him a script and I turn around and he already has the pages in and they look so good!" Rafer himself first wrote and drew a story for the X-O Manowar Wedding Special and the character's bachelor party detailing "why he's never allowed in Vegas again…" After that Rafer got to pitch for Archer and Armstrong and then for Renegades and he's loving doing the title. "I keep expecting to be told to dial it back, but I keep being told to go further and with this next arc wherever you think we are going … we're going further."
Coming off A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong, Rafer loved writing the "ultimate buddy book" and all the crazy elements he got to explore. There are no plans right now for another arc, but A&A has three trade paperbacks out and an HC is on the way collecting the series. However, Archer is currently involved in a relationship with Harbinger Renegade member Faith, so the possibility of a guest appearance is on the table. "There is a lot of connective tissue between Renegade and the greater Valiant Universe and we will be seeing a lot more of that coming up…"
When working on Renegades Rafer says the characters are very different and writing recovering addict Peter Sancheck is very interesting, but Kris, the defacto leader of the Renegades, who herself is not a Harbinger, is his favorite. "She's become my favorite character because she is so interesting and she's always trying to do the right thing, however she is using Peter to do that … though what friends don't 'use' each other somewhat in a friendship."
As the Renegades have been fighting Solomon in the first arc of the book, the second arc, titled Massacre is set to have a big conflict between Peter Sancheck, who just returned from outer space, and Solomon and … Toyo Harada? "Toyo is still recovering, he was exposed and is still ruling Africa, but he's not gone." So a battle between Solomon and his mentor Harada and Peter seems likely to come soon, or not … "It won't be a three-way conflict, it will be a four-way battle … as a new Harbinger will be in the battle too, though I can't say much more." All of this is very consciously leading to the upcoming Harbinger Wars 2, currently set for 2018 as Harbinger Renegade will take a break after its next arc and then resume leading toward the big event. More information is set to come Sunday and as soon as FCBD.