Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Today we look at one of the first characters Jim Shooter created for Valiant.
Flamingo (Charlene DuprÃ©)
Charlene (she’s the one sitting on the roof of the car) was one of the many interesting figures Jim Shooter introduced in his original Valiant series, Harbinger, which was about a young man, Pete Stanchek, who locks heads with the evil Toyo Harada, head of the Harbinger Foundation. Harada, one of the world’s most powerful beings, founded the Harbinger Foundation to essentially rule the world (feeling that he was the best suited for such a task). To do so, he would go around activating people who had powers that they were unable to access. Pete was the first person powerful enough to activate himself.
Harada tried to get Pete to join him, but when Harada had Pete’s best friend murdered (who was trying to sway Pete to go against Harada), Pete rebelled and went on the run, collecting his OWN super powered soldiers to battle Harada.
Here’s one thing I don’t get. Now bear in mind that I haven’t read Harbinger in literally over a decade, but did they ever resolve why Harada killed his best friend like that? Was it part of a plan that Harada WANTED Pete to rebel? I vaguely recall something like that happening. Anyhow, just wondering.
In any event, one of their recruits was Charlene, who was as notable as the other Harbingers in just how RANDOM of a personality she was. Her mother was an extremely religious woman, so to rebel, Charlene acted out as much as she could, figuring that if she acted bad enough, her mother would not expect Heaven in her future, so she would just leave her alone.
She also was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and she insisted on wearing pink.
However, as the series progressed, she began to grow up, and even though we don’t see her after Harbinger #25, we know that in the future, she ends up marrying Archer (from Archer and Armstrong) and they have kids and help lead a rebellion in the future from the bad guys.
Under the pen of Shooter and David Lapham (and by their successor, Maurice Fontenot) the Harbinger kids were unique, interesting individuals, and Charlene was no exception.
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