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Harvest #2: Crisis of Conscience

The world of illegal underground organ transplants is uncovered by a doctor with nothing more to lose.

Harvest #2

The first issue of Image Comics' Harvest was a pretty grim tale of a coke-addled surgeon named Benjamin Dane crashing and burning in the most tragic of ways, destroying his career and everything he had going in his life. Disgraced doctors make for ripe targets in the criminal underworld of black market organ transplants. Harvest #2 is about how the attempted seduction of Dane to the dark side goes wrong after it initially goes right.

Dane performed his first back-door surgery for a mysterious Mr. Takahashi, and that's gotten him invited to a larger network of people selling organs to the super-rich assholes of the world, and a man named Jason Craven is Ben's seducer, although his lovely female assistant Greer Sack certainly makes that seduction a little easier for him. Still, Ben sees through most of the bullshit immediately, and rarely lets Craven make his usual pitch uninterrupted by poking holes in it. Still, it's hard to argue with "The risks are minimal, the money is outrageous and there are no fucking HMOs." So Ben reluctantly agrees. And business booms. And Greer bangs him.

But there's still the matter of his conscience, which takes the form of the spectre of the cape-wearing kid he failed in the first issue so spectacularly by letting his mother die. That kid is telling him to get a bit more curious about where Craven gets his donors. There's a great bit of dialog from writer A.J. Lieberman when he picks a fight with Greer after the deed about it.

 

Greer: Ben, there's no black and white in what we're doing here.

Ben: I see. So they're willingly exploited, is that it?

Greer: The key word beeing "willingly."

Ben: I would have gone with "exploited."

 

Ben storms back to the O.R. to find out that Craven just harvested every possible organ he could from the kid from whom Ben had just taken a kidney, and it all comes crashing in on him – something he probably knew from the moment Greer advertised the gig as not being shackled by the Hippocratic Oath. So he resigns in the most epic way possible for a guy who knows what he's doing. And that's gonna bring no end of trouble down on him.

Lieberman is constructing a pretty involving story, keeping the kid-angst to an effective minimum and making us come around to liking Dane after the first issue painted him as such a walking catastrophe. It's redemption in progress, and the art from Colin Lorimer is greatly suited to it, with its very subtle colors within a mostly black-and-white look. It's a dark book both in subject matter and moody aesthetic, but Harvest is certainly a story worth your time to check out, should that pique your interest.

8.5