Joshua Dysart

Harbinger 10 (March 2013)

Now here’s a great issue. Dysart manages to turn the all-action issue into something with some content, probably because he’s got enough characters doing different things it can be a rewarding reading experience. He opens with narration from Peter, but splits the issue between him and Faith. They have to do a rescue mission, only […]

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Harbinger 9 (February 2013)

Really nice art from Pere Pérez. Probably the most consistently good art Harbinger has had so far. On to the story. While Dysart certainly left the cast in dire straits last issue, this issue he plays out the worst possible scenario. Not a lot of character moments–I don’t think Flamingo even has any lines–except for […]

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Harbinger 8 (January 2013)

What a downer. Dysart opens with Harada mentally torturing a Harbinger he’s already exiled to a desert. Harada might be the comic’s biggest problem–he’s such an evil bastard, he’s not interesting. One could make the greater good argument, but there’s not enough material for it. Just sound-bytes. Then, when Dysart gets to the renegades–Kris gets […]

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Harbinger 7 (December 2012)

Barry Kitson on pencils makes for a better looking Harbinger overall, though inkers Lee Garbett and Khari Evans could’ve picked up the slack more when Kitson gets bored. He’s always got a rushed, unfinished feel to his faces in particular. This issue features the renegades trying to recruit more Harbingers. Dysart splits the story between […]

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Harbinger 6 (November 2012)

Very strange stuff. Not the issue itself, which turns Kris into the protagonist of the series–it remains to be seen if Dysart maintains that position for her–but how Dysart sells the idea. He does it very subtly, introducing all these details about Kris and her regular reading list. He establishes she’s smart, he establishes she’s […]

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Harbinger 5 (October 2012)

Dysart brings Harbinger’s first arc to an extremely strong finish. He had some sublime foreshadowing earlier (it read like long-term foreshadowing, but it turns out to be short) and he doesn’t waste time establishing the characters. Instead, he just lets the scenes play out fast. For example, there’s a returning character who finally gets a […]

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Harbinger 4 (September 2012)

Even with the foreshadowing about the Harbinger foundation being nasty, nothing really prepares for this issue. Dysart shows an unexpected mean-streak, setting up a sympathetic new character and then attacking her. He also manages to get some real sympathy for his protagonist, who hallucinates he’s able to apologize to the girl he wronged. This issue […]

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Harbinger 3 (August 2012)

Now we discover the X-Men. Sorry, the Harbinger group. Or foundation. It’s all very futuristic–though it reminds of a lot of sci-fi–and the protagonist, Peter doesn’t quite know what to make of it all. I don’t know how much Dysart came up with, how much is from the original Harbinger series or how much is […]

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Harbinger 2 (July 2012)

I don’t know if I’d say Evans’s art is better this issue–there’s more action and he can handle the action–but as for the faces… he still seems weak. But I wasn’t paying as much attention, there’s too much else going on. Dysart opens the issue with another flashback, this time to India (with nice Lewis […]

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Harbinger 1 (June 2012)

So the character in the first scene is a guy? Someone needs to sit Khari Evans down and have a walk with him about showing gender through facial characteristics. The second time I went back to the beginning of the issue, I noticed without Joshua Dysart identifies character’s genders maybe two would be immediately clear. […]

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Unknown Soldier 25 (December 2010)

For a moment, I thought Dysart had lost his mind and was going to do some kind of Inglourious Basterds wish fulfillment kind of thing. Instead, I suppose… he makes Moses’s failure a success for his personal humanity. It’s hard to say. I estimate Dysart had about twenty more issues before coming to a conclusion […]

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Unknown Soldier 24 (November 2010)

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but it appears Dysart might take the series in a wholly different direction than I assumed to finish it off. Here, Moses (or whoever Moses was) meets the Unknown Soldier (I really didn’t expect the series to tie in to the original character, but Dysart does it nicely) and […]

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Unknown Soldier 23 (October 2010)

Yeah, this is not going to end well. If for no other reason… Joseph Kony is still alive. Of course, whether Unknown Soldier went on as long as initially intended (I think all Vertigo series have a finite intention, don’t they?), Kony would still be alive. So, even though the series was cancelled prematurely, Dysart’s […]

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Unknown Soldier 22 (September 2010)

A strange issue. It’s Sera’s issue, maybe the one I’ve been waiting for since she showed up again a few issues back. It’s also the first issue of the series’s final arc, so it’s interesting to see how Dysart’s going to handle it. Ponticelli takes a new approach, mixing his old and new styles of […]

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Unknown Soldier 21 (August 2010)

This issue, which Dysart tells from an omniscient first person point of view of an AK-47, might be the perfect example of the comic book medium’s narrative potential. I cannot think of any other medium where such a story could be told. Without the visuals, it would not work, so prose is out. As a […]

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Unknown Soldier 20 (July 2010)

It’s sort of a mellow issue. It’s an all action issue, with Moses on the run from some cattle raiders. He meets up with this family also on the run from them and the family gets stuck helping Moses try to fend them off. What’s mellow about the issue is Dysart’s approach–it’s told from the […]

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Unknown Soldier 19 (June 2010)

Once again, Dysart does the unexpected. This issue picks up exactly where the last one left off, only the last issue made it seem like he wasn’t going to concentrate on showing the big battle scene. But he does. In fact, there are three two page spreads in this issue. It’s the most action I […]

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Unknown Soldier 18 (May 2010)

Huh. Dysart finishes the arc without giving the action payoff I was expecting (I was also expecting another issue of the arc). It seems he’s saying goodbye to Paul too, after giving the kid a really rough lesson or two this issue in futility. Moses learns a similar lesson and ends the story in a […]

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Unknown Soldier 17 (April 2010)

Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting that ending. I think this arc runs five issues and Dysart is three in–and wrapping up some of the revelations–so I was wondering how he was going to keep it going. He’s keeping it going by turning the entire comic on its head. Turning Moses into an unreliable narrator–who isn’t […]

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Unknown Soldier 16 (March 2010)

It’s kind of a mystery story and kind of not. Moses is very active this issue, but not in his usual way. Instead, he’s back to being a doctor, back to letting his concern for people effect his actions. I know this arc isn’t the last one, but it feels like Dysart is trying to […]

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Unknown Soldier 15 (February 2010)

I’d heard about this arc. I’d heard it’s gradual and deliberate. Ponticelli changes his style a little. His lines are muted. Coupled with Moses’s narration, Unknown Soldier feels very far away, very dreamlike. Moses’s narration brings the reader up to speed (it’s possibly a letter to his wife) and, basically, he’s loitered around the village […]

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Unknown Soldier 14 (January 2010)

In some ways, this issue is one of Unknown Soldier’s least depressing–Paul gets a good ending (at least for this issue) and Moses gets a chance at some relief. But it’s somehow even more depressing, because Dysart gives Moses this chance to reflect, to think about himself and what he has done and will do. […]

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Unknown Soldier 13 (December 2009)

I think I was unprepared for Unknown Soldier after the lighter fare I’ve been reading lately. Dysart’s doing a two-parter following up on the kid Moses brought to the school. Now, I’m assuming Dysart researched it, so when the school sets the kids loose on each other in a war game–which really messes some of […]

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Unknown Soldier 12 (November 2009)

This issue is probably the most straightforward, action-packed thriller issue of the series so far. And, wow, does Dysart really ruin any visceral thrill. He manages to remove all the excitement from it, turning every success into failure, making every mistake a fated inevitability–Moses’s weaknesses doom him to those mistakes… and the issue ends with […]

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Unknown Soldier 11 (October 2009)

Well, the kid is definitely not Robin. He’s apparently gone for now. Eleven issues in and Dysart’s back to basics a little–it’s strange to refer to the return of the first six issue’s principal characters as “back to basics,” but I suppose it’s only natural in the era of story arcs and trade-waiting. Moses, Sera, […]

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Unknown Soldier 10 (September 2009)

In this issue’s conclusion, Dysart juxtaposes the bickering of adults–sure, it’s dramatic and violent, but they’re arguing over ideas–with children making friends with each other. It’s a profound little moment, creation versus destruction. It might be the most profound moment in Unknown Soldier so far. There’s a lot Dysart can go wrong with this issue, […]

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Unknown Soldier 9 (August 2009)

Dysart gives ex-CIA guy almost the entire issue. His name’s Jack, which I can’t believe I forgot. This issue is both prequel and sequel to the previous one, following Jack instead of Moses. What’s neat–I may have made this observation before–is how Jack is less easy for the reader to identify with than Moses. At […]

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Unknown Soldier 8 (July 2009)

Hmm. I wonder if anyone’s told Angelina Jolie about Unknown Soldier, specifically the idea she’s help Africa a lot more by being murdered…. Jolie’s Unknown Solider stand-in shows up for a minute this issue, but the plot to kill her is introduced a little later. Moses has hooked up with some pan-African freedom fighters and […]

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Unknown Soldier 7 (June 2009)

This issue is something of a texture piece. While it does further the story (Moses gets a radio and a translator by the end while starting the issue with neither), it’s really about someone else. The issue’s protagonist is a college student who returns home, only he’s returning home to a war zone. He makes […]

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