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Exclusive Preview: Valiant's The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 introduces new team of deadly allies
Toyo Harada. If you've been reading Valiant Comics then you'll know that he has been carefully crafted to become the antagonist to end all days in the Valiant Universe. Backed up against the rest of the world, Toyo vows to end his life on his terms, but he won't do it alone, as he has a group of psychics that will make apprehending him that much more difficult. Valiant Comics editor Karl Bollers revealed exclusively to SYFY WIRE who these new allies are and shared with us their first four-page appearance.
SYFY WIRE has never-before-seen pages of The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1, scheduled for a March 13 release. It is written by Joshua Dysart, with a rotation of artists, with the first issue featuring art by CAFU and Mico Suayan and variant covers by CAFU, Suayan, Ben Harvey, David Mack, and Doug Braithwaite. Future issues will have art by Butch Guice, Adam Pollina, Diego Yapur, Kano, and Braithwaite. But first, let's give a debrief anyone who is still in the dark on who Toyo Harada is and how he's come to earn this latest miniseries, which is a part of Valiant's 2019 Breakthrough lineup.
Toyo was born in 1936 and was orphaned at a young age due to World War II. His father fought and lost his life for the Axis Powers in the Pacific theater. Toyo lived with his mother in Hiroshima when Enola Gay dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan.
"Toyo watched his mother vaporize," editor Karl Bollers shared. "The destruction of the city of his birth unlocked the psychic abilities buried within Toyo’s mind, and it was this power alone that allowed him to survive the impact from the blast. It was the most important lesson he would ever learn."
"It was at this moment Toyo Harada discovered he was a psiot."
Bollers explained for the uninitiated, Psiots are humans with tremendous telekinetic and psychic potential. "Once activated, they can perform extraordinary feats of metaphysical power. They can fly, move objects by sheer force of will, read minds, project illusions, the list goes on."
Toyo vowed to use his powers to ensure the destruction and warfare he suffered through could never be used again, but this mission clashed with his childlike cruelty and desire to achieve his goals–by any means necessary.
Toyo used his powers to manipulate the stock market and become a wealthy and powerful individual, though still secretly a psiot. He founded the Harbinger Foundation, organizing covert psiots who shaped the events of time. But he was later discovered by the military contractor Project Rising Spirit, who began an underground war with Harada.
In recent years, Peter Stancheck would be the next important teenage psiot to come along as he was able to activate other psiots along with his other telekinetic powers. Originally groomed to be Toyo's pupil, Stancheck wound up rebelling against him when he found out the true nature of his plans, founding the Renegades. Together they exposed Harada and the Harbinger Foundation to the world, who naturally called for his surrender and imprisonment, but Toyo wasn't going out like that.
"Harada informed the world’s leaders they were incapable of leading the world into a brighter future due to petty greed and avarice," Bollers detailed. "As such, from this moment forward, he was in charge and they would do best to stay out of his way. Harada and his cadre of psiots destroyed several jet fighters and hijacked an aircraft carrier and turned it into their own personal headquarters."
"His very next move was to violently annex a swath of southern Somalia and rename it 'The Foundation Zone.' It would be an egalitarian, utopian society intended to provide for the welfare of all its citizens. But the governments of the world won’t stand for a psiot of Harada’s power essentially building his own nation. And the armed forces of the world superpowers, along with Project Rising Spirit (now redubbed Omen), are poised, amassed to strike against him."
In our preview, we get a taste of what Harada's new team of deadly allies can do. Bollers revealed all of them along with their abilities.
Gravedog – A former Project Rising Spirit turncoat who retains the artificial link to the PRS technology, allowing him to access various psiot-based superpowers—but only one power at a time.
Broken Angel – A former Project Rising Spirit scientist who defected to Harada’s camp after being possessed by a hyperintelligent, extradimensional entity. Bereft of human emotion, her experiments and actions are often amoral and unethical.
Mech Major – The product of Harada’s experimentation with nanite A.I., this pacifist battle robot displays a sentimental, empathetic nature and often shows more emotion than Harada and the others.
Lord Vine-99 – A sentient, alien biological killing machine encoded to destroy Toyo Harada. Harada captured LV-99 as a seedling and reprogrammed him to serve the Harbinger Foundation instead.
Thus setting the stage for Toyo Harada to become public enemy number one, and a standoff between Harada and his allies, against Omen and the rest of the world. "If this comic doesn’t make you want to root for the bad guy, nothing else ever will," Bollers added. "Never has a lose/lose situation been so win/win in terms of sheer entertainment!"
Valiant is also offering a pre-order bundle with extended 48-page editions of each issue packed with bonus content like creator commentary, process and character designs and exclusive CAFU covers. The final cut-off for The Life and Death of Toyo Harada Pre-Order Bundle through your local comic shop is February 18. Check out our exclusive preview of The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 below and let us know what you think.