Valiant Entertainment has been cooking up some choice books as of late with impeccable writing and art, kickstarting a revolution of their own brand. So color me excited when their first superteam gets a book of its own in a rather epic event. Is it good?
Unity #1 (Valiant Entertainment)
To catch you up a solicit will suffice:
The world’s most dangerous man, Toyo Harada, has been struck by the one thing he never thought possible – fear. Halfway across the globe, a new power threatens to topple modern civilization and, to preempt the cataclysm that is to come, Harada will unite the most lethal, most volatile, most unforgiving team the world has ever known – UNITY. Their mission: defeat the warrior king armed with the universe’s most powerful weapon. Kill X-O Manowar!
What makes this premise so interesting, perhaps, is that X-O Manowar is considered a hero; we’ve followed his struggles and story and we know he means well — but maybe what he’s doing is wrong. That means this book is filed with complicated bits of character development to chew on.
Writer Matt Kindt presents a killer back story and a great introduction from an average everyday blogger character. I got a Marvels vibe from this intro as it sets the stage on the street level, helping us get acquainted with the gravity of X-O’s choice to take over Romania — and at the same lends us some perspective on what it would be like for the common man to witness a God-like hero take over a country. There’s a lot to balance in this issue, so bravo to Kindt for pulling it off. When Ninjak shows up things get even more complicated (especially with his backup).
♫ Parkour man! Parkour man! ♫
There’s one hell of a hook/twist in this issueas well. It reminds me of Mark Millar’s The Authority with plenty of misdirection to surprise everyone. The twist is equal parts hilarious and gruesome and it only increases the stakes of Unity‘s premiere issue.
Artist Doug Braithwaite does an admirable job as well, meeting all criteria as far as event books go. He employs good use of digital blur that’s not too distracting; what really sets his work apart from others though is his ability to add gravity to a scene. We better understand the extreme gravitas of the situation either because of a well-timed close up, the panel panning back to better show how the characters are positioned and even a hell of a disgusting skull through the chest shot (yeah, that happens).
Killer narration there to bring it down to our level.
- Things coming together nicely making our hero a bit of a anti-hero before our eyes
- Gravitas is great
- Completely unfamiliar with the characters? You could be a tad lost
Is It Good?
This is a really good intro issue to a new series with adequate recap of characters and more importantly a clear understanding of the stakes at play. Without that the entire series would fall on plot and character, but here we’ve got the groundwork for something that could be truly epic. The art suits this type of story too. Bravo Valiant, looking forward to the rest of this series!