When it comes to war one of the major issues faced once boots are on the ground is what to do with the enemies who are captured; unless you’re evil you can’t kill them, so you must imprison them — which is an issue the United States is all too familiar with. There’s a strong sense of Guantanamo being invoked in this issue, which is pretty heavy, so is it good?
Unity #4 (Valiant Entertainment)
Unity #4 showcases Aric of Dacia/X-O Manowar imprisoned and depowered with nothing to live for… unless he can get his suit back. This issue is all about what it takes to regain said armor and bring Aric back to action. Last issue Livewire gave the suit to Toyo Harada after she wore it and bonded with it; this increased her powers and made her aware of what Harada is up to — which aint good.
Writer Matt Kindt opens the issue with narration by a female blogger who’s trying to uncover the injustice done to X-O and his people. You can get by without reading a single issue prior to this one as she recaps what’s going on pretty well. She’s used to bookend the issue and essentially wrap things up. In between we have Livewire, Ninjak and the Eternal Warrior going after the X-O suit. Aside from some well paced and good action this issue has two major flaws:
The first is that Harada even allows the plan to take place. The Manowar suit is so incredibly powerful it’s rather naive of him to let them take one step forward in their plan. The second is how much time is devoted to a new character named Anchor. He’s essentially The Blob from the X-Men universe only a lot smaller, his powers are nearly identical. Anchor is tasked with protecting the X-O suit — why, I’m not sure, but it seems to be simply because he was the only soldier Harada on hand. It seems like a bit of a waste to give this no name character so much time.
Love it when teams and their powers are introduced this way.
Once again the art by Doug Braithwaite fits the “big event” book feel nicely. A lot of this issue takes place in very blank interiors which do take away from the pages, but it’s the action and fighting that’ll keep you turning them. The panel above introducing the rest of team Anchor belongs to does seem a bit cramped as they don’t even get more than half a page; the aforementioned emphasis on Anchor makes sure of that. While they don’t appear for most of the issue, it seems a bit shortsighted to cram them all in like that — maybe future issues will spread the wealth characterization wise.
Is It Good?
I’m not sold on this issue, largely because there is no reasons why the actions that take place here are being taken. They just are… cuz, you know, because and Harada is made to appear more evil than any prior issue seems to suggest. This might be a case where not reading the tie-ins hurts the read, because I’m a bit lost as to character intentions.