Review – Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #1
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artists: Cafu, Mico Suayan
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Assistant Editor: David Menchel
Editor: Karl Bollers
Senior Editorial Director: Robert Meyers
Toyo Harada has lived an interesting life. Born prior to the nuclear detonation of Japan, he survived with an unequaled psiot power inside of him. Almost a Robin Hood-of-sorts, he took from the gangsters and gave to those that needed it most. He strives to remove war from the world and to help those that need it the most. The flip side of that is that he’ll kill anyone in order to accomplish his goals and his team is comprised of monsters of a most vile quality. And it is this Imperium of criminals that might end up Toyo’s undoing.
The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada ends up as one of the most thought-provoking and intelligent books that Valiant has had in comic shops in quite some time. A long-running story from writer Joshua Dysart, The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada is his last chapter in a story that started back in 2012 when Valiant Entertainment came back to publishing and Dysart was starting Harada’s story in Harbinger. From there, the focus went directly to Harada in the pages of Imperium.
I say it comes off as intelligent because this is some high-quality subject matter that I find most interesting. A man who wants what is best for the world but will do it by the worst of ways. TLADOTH’s start is that there’s alien tech circling the planet, brought there by the Vine, an alien race and whose defeat was by X-O Manowar, another Valiant hero. Toyo looks to give this technology to all that could benefit. This book is wordy but in a good way.
The art team has a great sense of balance within this first issue. The art is by Valiant veterans CAFU and Mico Suayan, each one’s art used in certain aspects of Toyo’s life. When you add Andrew Dalhouse’s colors to the mix, the end result is really something. It’s a beautiful book from once cover to the next. And with a book that is this visually-stunning, it’s nice that Dave Sharpe’s letters aren’t blocking anything.
I hope that for anyone new to Valiant that picks this up that they can pick up on who everyone is. This doesn’t come off that friendly to new readers but given that, picking up the previous work is a great idea. Older readers might pick up the fact that Kozol, who runs Project Rising Spirit has been dead a few years. Dysart admitted to missing that point. Honestly, no biggie. In my mind, I just imagine this story as not taking place at this current moment in the Valiant universe, as it’s been a few years since we have seen Harada.
The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada features some of the best art from Valiant. CAFU and MICO Suayan are tops of the artistic roster at Valiant and together make TLADOTH a truly beautiful book. Dysart’s Valiant opus is on its last chapter and this opening issue of TLADOTH is one not to be missed at all.
The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada features some of the best art from Valiant.