Review: Unity #5

In the last issue of Unity we saw the wrap up of the first story arc in which the core of the team: Ninjak, Livewire and Gilad united to regain the X-O armor from Harada and return it to Aric. This issue starts off with similar beats to the first mission. If you recall we saw Ninjak sneaking into Aric’s ship and here we see Livewire approaching cargo ship that’s standing upright in the jungle. She’s also solo and gives the famous last words of “if I’m not back in 24 hours send back up.” Unlike an action movie though… she needs back up much in the way that Ninjak did. We also see Ninjak going solo for a bit as he takes down a group of men having an illegal arm deal of some kind. One of the men tells Ninjak to go ahead and kill him because the next time they meet he’ll dismantle him. It’s strange, but this is a comic so maybe we should believe him? Ninjak finds his target and the man suddenly goes brain-dead. Ninjak brings his head back to MI-6, but they find the brain of a thirteen-year-old inside.

With the news of Livewire’s disappearance the gang gets back together with Gilad invading Ninjak’s personal home. They talk about the difficulties in getting Aric to join them which is his cue to enter the room via the raging fireplace (gotta love that armor). Ninjak is particularly entertaining as he doesn’t appreciate either man entering his home so easily or meeting at his house in the first place.

UNITY_005_COVER_CRAINMost of the issue is dialogue via conversations, but that dialogue is great. It never comes off as exposition for the sake of moving the story forward, even the lady that goes crazy at the end. Matt Kindt adds several layers of history to the Valiant Universe with this issue. Personally I enjoyed that aspect the most, but then I’m partial to history in general. For the comic it added an extra layer to the universe and fleshed out this expanding world that all of the characters call home. It was very enjoyable and raised question that can be answered later in the series or in an entirely different series.

That’s one of the great things about Valiant’s approach this time around is that they can craft a shared universe that is truly changed from issue to issue with the effects felt in other books, but without being bogged down by too many titles.

This issue welcomes Cafu to the title. There’s no comparison to be made between Cafu and previous artist Doug Braithwaite as they two have very different styles. They both tend to be photo realistic, but Cafu’s look is far more comfortable in the Valiant Universe. Cafu’s action sequences with Ninjak were very entertaining and letterer Dave Shapre does a great job with Ninjak’s interface during the action sequences. Suddenly characters that were “low alert” turn up deceased or “high alert.” I particularly liked when the interface was backwards because the art wasn’t facing Ninjak’s POV. I’d assume this was done at Kindt’s direction, but either way it was a nice touch.

This is a great issue to jump on if you couldn’t tell from the cover. The impressive thing about this issue is that it really is a great starting point for anyone interested in the Valiant Universe; it’s packed full of information, but never is it overwhelming. If you’re looking for a team book that has a very different makeup compared to other titles on the market, then definitely check out Unity because it’s breaking that mold with each new issue.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Cafu Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/12/14