Something that I really enjoy about the creative medium is when the title of something is worked into the story. I don’t just mean when a character cheesily says the title like, “I guess you could say that’s where the red ferns grow”*, though that makes me chuckle as well. *I know that’s not a real line, but it’s funny.
I enjoy it even more when it’s clever and taken seriously as it is in this zero issue of Unity as we meet the military outlet “Unit Y”. Get it? God isn’t that great? It’s so great.
There’s a recap page of sorts for the issue as it introduces us to the new old team of Unit Y which is made up of the Eternal Warrior, a man called Alpha, Dell and Breaker. Much like the modern-day Unity team (which I’m now more inclined to call Unit Y) each plays a role on the team. The story opens with Breaker and Gilad talking; Breaker has made a machine that can predict the future with “relative certainty” and its latest prediction is the demise of the team. Ominous indeed.
From there we see the team in action as they attempt to rescue hostages behind enemy lines during WWI. After getting a look at what the team can do we find that their mission is a bust. After that though they’re put on another mission, one that might very well end the war if they succeed.
It’s a solid issue. We all basically know how it’s going to end based on the opening, but the journey there has surprises and twists that make it a worthy journey. It also opens up this world for more stories set in the past which isn’t exactly new to the Valiant Universe, but it’s something they do very well. I think back to Archer & Armstrong and Shadowman and my favorite aspects of those stories come from the history of their sliver of the world. Now that Unity is a part of that it only serves to make this shared universe feel more alive; deeper and complex.
Kindt captures the era with the dialogue and character personalities. Dell and Breaker in particular felt era appropriate with the way they spoke and interacted. Breaker’s dialogue was at time difficult to read because he says a lot of, “dat’s” and “tah’s” and such, but for the most part it doesn’t break the story and gives the character a unique voice.
With Cary Nord being on an exclusive contract it’s no big surprise that he’s illustrating this issue, but it’s still welcomed. He too builds the era and makes it a clear which world war is being fought. He also interjects a lot of the personality that is present in the dialogue. I know that’s strange, but Dell in particular has this spunky personality that poured out from the writing and art. Her character reminded me of that of a classic role in film in which the audience is introduced to a powerful and beautiful woman that’s a little bit flirtatious, but at the same time ballsy as hell. Believe it or not the art is where I’m pulling this from which is all Nord. She was easily my favorite character of the issue and she had a limited role in the issue.
This really doesn’t feel like a zero issue. I don’t know if it’s exactly building a bigger story that’s coming, but more than likely it is. It does successfully build the history of the team and tells a complete and interesting story. Hell I would love to read more one-shot stories like this taking chunks out of the team’s past because it’s just interesting to see the Valiant Universe line up with our own history. If anything this issue should be commended for not taking place during WWII.
Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Cary Nord Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/15/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital