In this dual review two writers (in this case Dustin and Erik) will take a look at the issue and give a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass. Before we begin here’s what the issue is about from Valiant Comics: On an airtight team of stone-cold soldiers, Amanda McKee is the one variable in the equation that equals absolute kill. Now, as the last woman standing against the unstoppable force known as X-O Manowar, the Harbinger Foundation’s most seasoned technopath has just added one new item to her resume – newest bearer of the X-O Manowar armor and the finger behind the trigger of the universe’s most powerful weapon. Watch out world…this means trouble.
So much of what Unity does goes against the norms of comic book storytelling. I can see it enraging or even confusing fans because it and the rest of the Valiant Universe refuses to follow the path that seemingly all other superhero stories and companies follow. I’ve said numerous times over this past year that reading Valiant titles still feels as fresh as the first issues. Considering most of the series are approaching or are in the “20s” with their numbering, that’s saying a lot. The entire line and universe maintains this incredibly fresh vibe to it.
What does any of that have to do with Unity I’m sure you’re asking; well this issue of Unity rocks what little status quo there is in the Valiant Universe. It changes a lot. It’s not just the X-O armor changing hands; it’s literally the roles of its characters in the universe. What was great for me was something I suspected from the beginning turned out to be true and will likely rock the world of those that weren’t paying attention. This is a great damn issue. Great. Kindt and Braithwaite show superhero fans that they can expect more from their heroes. That the same formula doesn’t need to be used over and over and neither does a reboot in order to keep things fresh. Valiant shows once again that if you tell great stories… it doesn’t matter what the number on the cover is at.
The best issue of Unity yet. Just when you thought that you understood, completely, the direction that this event was going in, you’re wrong. I was irritated to watch the Manowar armor find another wearer that it deemed worthy. I continued reading X-O Manowar in the first place because of how interesting the silent relationship was between Aric and the armor. There was a connection there that convinced you that the series could focus completely on one character’s story. I had never seen anything like that, so I felt completely justified when I was soured by what had happened at the end of Unity #2. But what happens here with Livewire is genius storytelling that forces the reader to evolve with its events. You may not think that you’ll like it, or it may not be what you expected, but what has been crafted here is something that can’t be controlled or contained. Unity is alive. There isn’t a single comic out there that brings anything similar to the table.
Score: BUY IT!!!
Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Doug Braithwaite Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/15/14