Unity #1 by Matt Kindt (Comics Review)

From everything I’ve seen around me, Valiant Comics is emerging as a publisher with some solid clout in the industry. Much as Top Cow did when it was created, Valiant is redefining the superhero genre in its own way by giving us a fresh generation of superhero(ish) characters to get invested in. And they publish some non-superhero titles as well, such as Fred Van Lente’s excellent Archer & Armstrong, of which I’ve read the first volume so far. Unity #1 marks my first Valiant comic in several months as I finally take the full plunge into the universe/setting that Valiant is creating.

Unity #1, the attraction is that it is being presented as a team-up book, Valiant’s own version of a Justice League team-up or an Avengers team-up. Despite how complex they can be, I find team books to be a good starting point, especially when they bring several different type of heroes such as, again, Justice League or Avengers. And that’s what I’m seeing in this comic as well. Written by Matt Kindt, I had some doubts about it since his writing of late hasn’t really been working for me, but I gotta say that this was much better than I expected!

Unity 01I’ve been reading a lot of company-wide crossovers of late. Trinity War, Battle of the Atom, Infinity, Forever Evil, etc, etc. This year appears to be the year of crossovers and pretty much all the major companies are doing it. Whether they are having a truly ensemble cast, or teaming two or three major characters together, crossovers appear to be exceedingly popular at the moment. And Valiant is getting on that bullet train with a comic that touches on, seemingly, every corner of their universe. I’m not reading any of their books right now, but it seems that many of Valiant’s characters are in here. The only ones it seems to be missing are Archer and Armstrong, Bloodshot and Shadowman, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the four of them turn up later. One can hope right?

After writing some non-interesting comics of late, Matt Kindt is pretty much back with a bang as this issue rolls out. With this issue, I expected to go in all guns-blazing with some truly high-level events. But Matt does nothing of the sort. He starts the issue from the viewpoint of a food critic and blogger who is in a small Romanian town when the Russian military launches a major attack on the being known as X-O Manowar, a time-displaced Visigoth from Earth’s history who was abducted by aliens some sixteen hundred odd years ago and has returned to lay claim to his ancestral lands. And we see the attack through the eyes of this critic. It was a wonderful approach. In a few short pages, Matt summarizes what this series is going to be about, what the premise is about, and what is going to happen.

After that, we quickly get introduced to various major “super” players such as Eternal Warrior, Ninjak, Harada and the Unity. Matt Kindt brings all of them together and he writes a really fast-paced and engaging story, the sort that I wish he was writing on Justice League of America right now. He met my expectations and he exceeded them. And he’s gotten me to get interested in the other Valiant titles too, finally. Titles like X-O Manowar for instance, since Unity #1 seems to be using recent events in that title to springboard itself.

Despite that, the best thing about this title is that it was very approachable for me, someone who doesn’t know what is going on in the Valiant universe. You are given enough information to get on board and then things are revealed in stages. And there are plenty of twists in the story to keep you going. And the digital issue is an exclusive which has a sample from Robert Venditti and Cary Nord’s X-O Manowar #19, which was interesting look into the wearer of the X-O Manowar suit, Aric. I enjoyed the inside look since Unity #1 presents an outside look.

The art in this issue is from Doug Braithwaite, with colours by Brian Reber. I enjoyed the artwork and it has a lot of splash pages which are used to great effect. This is a really colourful book with lots of visual character drama, lots of explosions, and lots of scene-setting. Given all the different characters that are being featured here, I thought that Doug and Brian do them all justice since they all stand out and are different from each other. That’s all I could really ask for.

So, first issue is off to a great start, and I’m really looking forward to the second issue next month.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Posted on November 19, 2013, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

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