Unity #0 (Comics Review)

After wrapping up the Armor Hunters event, Valiant is now dipping into origin tales for its many major books, starting with X-O Manowar #0 last week. While the ongoing X-O Manowar is firmly rooted in the present, last week’s zero issue showed us the man behind the armour as he was in his youth, an inexperienced and untested warrior. It was great, and I definitely enjoyed it. Matt Kindt’s Unity has been a relative mainstay of my comics reading since it debuted last year, and it has certainly been a very fun title, though there’ve been a few missteps here and there. But, it still remains as one of the best new series from 2013, by far.

This week’s Unity #0 takes us back to the closing stages of World War I as we meet up with Unit Y, a special forces team setup jointly by American and Britain to counter the Imperial Germany threat. The leader of this team is Gilad Anni-Padda aka Eternal Warrior, who is an immortal warrior and a mainstay of the current Unity team, and in this issue we get to see the final mission of Unit Y, in a tale full of deserved bluster and lots of action. This is a fairly decent issue, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite work as perhaps the creators expected it to, since it did have quite a few flaws.

Matt Kindt and Valiant’s decision to use this issue to focus on Eternal Warrior is perhaps a genius move. Gilad is a mainstay of Unity and also its pragmatic center and its soul even, I’d say, much as The Flash is for the Justice League. Since the team was formed back in the early days of Unity, he has been there every step of the way and he has been phenomenal under Matt Kindt’s pen and the pencils of both Doug Braithwaite and Stephen Segovia. With this zero issue, we get to meet a very different Gilad, but no different that he is unrecognizable.

Being set during World War I, the issue has a near-perfect tone and a great sense of tension and drama since the stakes are immediately familiar and relevant for the reader. Matt is able to dive straight into the story without being bothered by having to build up the setting and everything else. There are four members in all of this team, known as Unit Y and though we don’t really get to spend much time with either of them since the story moves forward at a face pace.

We never get to really get a thorough look into the members of Unit Y, but perhaps that is exactly the point, that these people are heroes and should be acknowledged rather than us knowing their identities and everything else that is worth knowing. Matt Kindt presents them all as a team, brought together for a specific task and a team that has come to depend on each member to do his/her own page.

Which delves nicely into the fact that one of the 4-member team is a woman, and this is great. The present-day Unity team has Livewire, who is all kinds of badass and the old Unit Y team has Dell, who is similarly awesome, but for different reasons.

The present-day team is special in that everyone on it has some kind of special powers, but for Unit Y, there is only Gilad with special powers, the others are heroes in the truest sense of the word, normal people (if geniuses) who have gotten together to take out the bad guys. And that’s something worth celebrating. In their story, Matt definitely captures the spirit of the First World War, but then, the problem is also that since we don’t get to spend a good enough time with the different members, we don’t really have a connection with them by the end for the climax to really leave its mark, and that I think is the biggest drawback of this issue.

And there’s the fact that one of the characters, Breaker, has a really thick accent that makes parsing his dialogue a real chore, and the… well, artificiality of it made me feel rather disappointed. And Breaker really wasn’t all that interesting in the end either.

Cary Nord is the artist here, with Jose Villarrubia on colours, Dave Sharpe on letters, and the cover by Raul Allen, Chriscross and Allen Passalaqua. The art is decent I suppose, but at times it is also not so good. The style, particularly with Jose’s light and faded/muted colours, really works for the story but there are times when it feels incomplete or even unrealistic in the sense that it seems to have a glossy vibe to it, which is just confusing. And the big reveal of the big bad villain for the team doesn’t quite have the same impact as I expected it to have since it was too abrupt.

Decent enough story and art, though you can unfortunately give it a miss for sure.

Rating: 7/10

More Unity: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5-6, #7, #8, #9, #10-11.

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Posted on October 18, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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