Secret Weapons #2 (Valiant Entertainment)
Holy gods. Did you see Arrival? This is a comic written by Eric Heisserer, the guy that wrote that screenplay. He’s moving in and taking the reins of mythologies set in place by Harbinger and Imperium, two of the best comics published in the modern era, and is dealing the complexities that Toyo Harada has left for everyone else.
Oh, Harada. You make everything harder for everyone.
Toyo Harada is a psiot, which is basically Valiant for mutant. He’s a mix of Charles Xavier’s dream of a better world and Magneto’s ruthless drive to acquire it and enough power to think himself god. He started a corporation and used his power to fight a shadow war so he could drive the world towards becoming a post-scarcity utopia where everyone would be better off, which pissed off the rich and powerful who really did not want to reveal him to the world.
No, the people he pissed off on the other side of the spectrum did that. See, Harada has a tendency to not see the forest for the trees and a distinct inability to see people as people – everyone and everything are pieces of a game to him, and he managed to alienate the only person with powers equal to his own, a terrible mess of a human being named Peter Stanchek.
What makes Harada and Peter unique – aside from their incredible power – is a single ability that sets them apart from any other meta-human on the planet: they can activate latent psiots. Basically, if there is a chance that you could have a super power, either one of these two can awaken that power within you. Peter is better at it than Harada, who kills about one in every four people he tries it on, but those are the risks Harada is willing to take.
Sometimes, though, the powers he awakens in others aren’t… well, they’re not that great. Take, for instance, the guy that can make inanimate objects light up. Or the girl that can talk to birds. Or the dude that uncontrollably sometimes conjures things to his hands and can’t control the when or where of it. They’re not useful for Harada’s cause but he can’t get rid of them and still feels responsible for them, so he sets them up with housing and lets them alone.
The problem is that when Stanchek and friends revealed Harada to the world, they did so by exposing his email account and spreading out all the information he was carefully keeping hidden, including the housing he had given these psiots who basically had no training and no place in his plan. There’s plenty of other people who would like to get their hands on or kill these kids, though, so they’ve had to go into hiding or to make their own way in the world.
Not that that’s going to stop the people that want them from hunting them down.
Thankfully, these questionably powered individuals do have one ace in the hole – a psiot who calls herself Livewire, who gained the power to interface wirelessly with any machine. She was Harada’s second in command until she called him out on his mistakes, then ended up leading Unity (Valiant’s big super team) and is one of the most powerful people on the planet. She’s awesome. She’s also obsessed with making up for Harada’s (many) mistakes, and so she’s going to do her best to protect these kids from the people that are hunting them.
So, as mentioned, this comic is being written by Eric Heisserer, and he’s joined by Raúl Allén of Wrath of the Eternal Warrior fame. Check this comic out – Valiant is doing stuff with superhero comics that are like nothing you’ve ever seen.