REVIEW – The Life And Death of Toyo Harada #1

The Life And Death of Toyo Harada #1 (of 6) - Valiant Entertainment

Written by Joshua Dysart

Art by Cafu & Mico Suayan

Colors by Andrew Dalhouse

Letters by Dave Sharpe

Every comic book company has their iconic heroes and villains.  There have even been a few that have crossed those lines a bit over the years in different books.  Toyo Harada is one of those names that Valiant fans know, and has always been one of the most fascinating characters in their library.  So when I see a book with a title that suggests that his time may be running out, you can bet that I am going to jump on it.  Let's find out more about The Life and Death of Toyo Harada.

This book literally traces things back to Harada's birth, and quickly moves through his early upbringing.  A catastrophic event in history happens, and that does two very specific things:  reveals that Harada has powers and gives him a life's mission.  How that mission evolves and gets to where we are in the present day, remains to be seen.  It was very interesting seeing those early years for Harada, and how powerful he was even as a child who wasn't even 10 years old yet.  Flash forward to today, and Harada enacting one last master plan that could be a game changer for his cause.  I won't reveal what it is, but it's a pretty incredible piece of technology.  The government is trying to stop him, for obvious reasons, but it should be obvious by now that Harada will have help.  I can't really say much without spoiling anything, but there is a conflict.  When Harada returns, there seems to be a lot that is unknown by the team of what the long term goals of this plan are.  Assumptions are being made, new faces are being added and things seem very unsettled to everyone but Harada.  As readers, we know what the plan is, but we seem to be in the minority.  As this first issue ends, we are assured that we are not done going back to Harada's past.

I was actually hoping we would see a bit more of that past before we jumped to the present.  Still, I certainly enjoyed both parts of this story, and can't argue with telling them concurrently.  The importance of time and how life was created are a big part of this.  Dysart paints a picture of just how vast and powerful Harada really is.  We get that push and pull of his good intentions over his methodology.  There is plenty of evil in Harada, but this book shows that there is (or at least was) a place of good that some of his madness can come from.  I think bringing Dysart back to this world of Psiots is just what the doctor ordered.  I can't think of anyone more fitting to tell this story.  You combine that with not one, but two amazing artists.  I was already hyped for this book, and this first issue did not disappoint.  Plug the rest of it right into my mind, because I need it now.


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