Unity #1 Review

by @octii_pies on Nov 14, 2013

When one of the most primitive men on Earth holds the most advanced pieces of technology to grace our planet, who is there to protect the rest of the world?

The Good

Despite being another piece of the Valiant Universe that is showing another side to X-O Manowar’s storyline, Unity’s introduction stands very well on its own. I know just enough about this issue’s “bad guy” to know that he is first and foremost, dangerous; then second and more importantly, human. We know from the introduction and with a great summary about Aric of Dacia what this man’s purpose and motivations are. Still, we also understand the dangers he presents, thus making the reader root for those trying to figure out how to fight against him. The reader doesn’t necessarily get what they want when going through the fight, but the result of the fight does project an even better story for issue 2. The art style is pretty darn classic. Masculine lines, strong colors, and crosshatch shading make this feel like an action TV series. It is totally appropriate with the premise and content, though I have to say I am very, very impressed with the effort taken by the artists to show perspective. Literally, accurate, action filled, unusual perspectives. No body parts look funny, the readers get a good gauge of distance and size- just brilliant. Doing one piece of work achieving all these things is difficult, but fitting them all into multiple panels throughout the story? It is much appreciated. Lastly, a minor thing, but also really appreciated, is background on how some gadgets work alike the background on some characters being introduced. Much better than forced dialogue to explain gadgets other readers may already be familiar with.

The Not So Good

Now, I know there are a lot of characters and as I mentioned above, this is sort of an extension to this part of Valiant’s universe. In fact, I bet that many readers will already have their attachments and understandings of some characters, but as someone new to this universe, I don’t feel any attachment to anyone. I suppose there was a minor flashback for Harada that spoke a lot about his past and intentions, and we spent a surprisingly long time with Ninjak… Nope. Nothin’. I feel bad that some people did not achieve what they were meant to do, but I have no feelings negative or otherwise for anyone else. Is that supposed to happen? I’m not sure.

The Bottom Line

Despite my lack of attachment to anyone in general or specifically, I do enjoy the story so far. I don’t feel like I absolutely have to catch up on the X-O Manowar series to understand what is happening. This means that this issue successfully stood alone as its own unique piece of work. I know, I know. Unity and X-O are blasts from the past, technically, but this feels fresh. Definitely want to see what Unity has to bring to the table that Aric has so kindly flipped for them.

4.5 / 5
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Unity #1
Released November 13, 2013
Writer Matt Kindt
Artist Doug Braithwaite
Cover Artist Doug Braithwaite

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