Unity #3 (Comics Review)

There have been a lot of big events in comics of late. Last year alone saw some really major events from the Big 2: Throne of Atlantis, Battle of the Atom, Trinity War, Infinity, Age of Ultron etc. And the new year is also heralding quite a few more from both of them. But, I have to say that in terms of uniqueness and freshness, nothing quite beats Valiant’s Unity series, which continues to surprise at every turn. Perhaps that’s because Valiant’s sandbox is pretty new. Perhaps that’s also because writer Matt Kindt is doing some of his best work here. Regardless, Unity is a series that I’m really enjoying.

The first two issues of the series were fairly good. My lack of familiarity with the characters has been an element that has hampered my enjoyment to some degree, but I won’t deny that both issues were some of the best issues I read last year. The third issue, released this week, builds on both of them and it provides a really great change in the status quo of things. Something that is unexpected. And the way that it ends, in the epilogue, well, big changes are in store it seems!

Unity 03If there’s one thing that this series has been, even at this young stage, it is that Matt Kindt writes quite a fast-paced story. He doesn’t waste any time with subplots. The story is focused on its end-game and how to get there. The execution in that context is pretty much perfect. Matt is a writer that either hits a home run straight up or strikes out, for me. His early work on the Justice League of America backups was quite fun, but his solo issues on the series haven’t been so good. His Villain’s Month titles for DC were also rather lackluster. But he’s definitely turned things around for me with this series and Unity #3 proves that once again because this contains some of his best work to date, I think.

The story as it stands is at a crossroads. The team put together by Harada, which includes Eternal Warrior, Ninjak and Livewire, has seen some success again Aric and his X-O Manowar suit, but things are still pretty dire for them. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place right now and getting out of this situation involves doing something that they’d rather not. At least, the team members would rather not, but there is a particularly vicious and cold-blooded streak in Harada that is exposed in this issue. All of a sudden, Matt Kindt totally turned the tables on how I expected this issue to pan out. And that’s a great thing.

Seeing Livewire take such a lead role in this issue proved to be a great experience because she is a character that I’ve enjoyed in her brief appearances so far. And her abilities really do mark her out. The way that Matt writes her makes her one of the best characters in this series and I’m definitely a fan of hers now. She is strong and capable, in all the ways that matter, and more. She is not afraid to step out of the shadow of her mentor and forging her own path, which was a really nice touch here. She is also the voice of reason for the team, and her arguments really do win you over.

The way that Matt ends this issue, with an epilogue-ish feel to it, was the perfect way to end this issue I think. I expected things to go a certain way but Matt managed to surprise once more, and now I’m really intrigued as to what is going to happen next. Whatever does happen, Harada is certainly not going to come out of it on top.

Doug Braithwaite’s pencils and Brian Reber’s colours are top-notch once more. The reason I’m liking this series so much right now is thanks in part to the excellent work that these two artists have put into the book. The action scenes are damn good. The quieter scenes are damn good. The visual storytelling is always on point. And the characters all look damn good, again, and again. Given how different each character is from the other, Doug and Brian still manage to inject a lot of personality into them, just through the visual design in each panel, and I’m totally hooked here.

So yes, overall, a fantastic read. Some of Livewire’s dialogue felt a bit off, and the story jumped up a bit towards the end, but this really was a great issue.

Rating: 9.5/10

More Unity: #1, #2.

Posted on January 17, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

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