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Valiant Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – S

It’s a tough letter to choose just one, but here’s my pick!

Enjoy!

Pete Stanchek (Sting)

You know, it’s a sad thing in comics when the sharp downfall of Pete Stanchek’s character doesn’t even stand out that much compared to similar situations with other comic book characters.

Created by Jim Shooter, Pete was the character that was the driving force behind Harbinger (and yes, Sting is a dumb name), the only person who could challenge Toyo Harada, power-wise.

There is this great bit where his girlfriend (Kris) was only dating him because he was subtly controlling her mind. Of course, he was not a jerk, so he stopped doing it – but it is still pretty messed up, and I like how it weighs on Pete.

Then, we get to the end, and we learn that this whole thing was a ploy by Harada, who was manipulating the people around Pete to get to this point.

This leads to an epic battle royale between Pete and Harada, which ends with Pete powerless and Harada comatose.

Then the lameness begins.

Pete is then brainwashed by a recovered Harada into becoming “The Harbinger” (although the Harbinger’s identity is secret at first)

Meanwhile, the mysterious Visitor shows up, and it is just blatantly Peter. There really wasn’t much of a secret there – until they reveal – AHA! – Pete is the Harbinger, not the Visitor! Which made no sense, so of course, shockingly, the Visitor IS Pete, but it’s Pete from an alternate future!

He teams up with the now-free-from-brainwashing Pete and they help save the world.

Such a cool character at first and such lameness at the end.

7 Comments

This is, what, the sixth Harbinger-related entry?

Solar got ripped off.

It’s a tough break, but Stanchek/Sting is a cooler character than Solar.

Harbinger just happened to be one of the better Valiant titles (and, okay, it also happened to have someone who could fit F and K, not many takers for those letters :) ).

I was expecting Solar.

And hey, Visitor wasn’t that lame! Okay, maybe it was, it’s been a while– and thankfully, it finally makes sense now that you’ve explained it (I never read Harbinger).

I was expecting Solar or Samuree (wasn’t that a Valiant title first? Either way, it was hilariously great, and unintentionally so).

[...] Brian Cronin, as part of his “Valiant Alphabet of Cool,” profiles the character here. [...]

Worst of all was when he started to play the lute all the time. And in that knockoff face makeup from The Crow. Although I may be mixing up my Stings here…

Roquefort Raider

May 12, 2008 at 6:55 am

One of the very best things about the early Valiant is that there were no alternate futures. The future was set in stone, and time travel-related paradoxes were all part of the greater story. It was very refreshing because alternate timelines have too often been the excuse for lousy plotting. The Harbinger / Visitor thing and an alternate Peter Stanchek surviving the Harbinger wars in Timewalker were just one more proof that Valiant had jumped the shark.

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