I’m going to help a lot of new Valiant readers out for a moment. Unity isn’t an event book. It had a large storyline kick off at the beginning of the series and then it laid the foundation for Rai to come around and now it is crossing over with Armor Hunters which is an event book, but Unity is not. I think that a lot of people thought it was, but really it’s Valiant’s team book. I wouldn’t be so brash to say it’s their Avengers or Justice League because I think the world is structured differently. They’re more comparable to black ops X-Force if you need a comparison. They operate in secret, but their missions change or save the world. I wanted to address that because I think some readers are wondering why the “Unity event” is still going on and it’s because it’s a team book. Ninjak and Eternal Warrior were left in a bad way last time, but they’re kind of healed up now? I was confused on that part because they jump back into battle in this issue and I wasn’t entirely clear if it was before or after they made it back from Russia in the last issue. Minor detail.
This issue has a ton going on, but two really big parts of the story are addressed. The first is the hounds that have been sent to erase anything and anyone that’s come in contact with Aric’s armor. This is where we see Ninjak and Gilad shine! I could wring Ninjak’s neck sometimes with the way he talks to Gilad, but he’s a likeable prick. His cool factor is so high that no matter how prickish he gets, you like him still. That’s really hard to write by the way.
The other thing is the bombshell that Livewire might be infected with either Silk’s virus or the Armor’s virus. This didn’t quite line up with Armor Hunters because there she was being checked out by a scientist and here she was checking herself. The catch is that she has Bloodshot holding a gun to her head the entire time acting as her “second” in case she is infected and can’t kill herself. I’ll take the Bloodshot version over the scientist.
Bloodshot doesn’t say much in this issue… if anything. I’m waiting to really see Kindt’s take on the character because right now he’s too quite. Otherwise Kindt continues with great characterizations for the big three of the story. During Ninjak and Gilad’s battle Kindt incorporates a flashback for each character and they’re both the perfect break for the story to continue their character development. With as much action and fighting that was going on in this issue, the fact that Kindt found time to advance the characters was surprising.
I had to double-check the artist for this issue to make sure it was still Stephen Segovia. I think he’s been holding back on us because this issue is by far the best looking of the series. This may be an ongoing team book, but this issue is part of an event and needed to be big. It’s not just big, it’s huge. We’re talking blue whale huge. Segovia delivers on the cinematics of the presentation and keeps up with Kindt’s pacing with the story. Hands down this was the best looking book I read this week.
The thing that’s wonderful about Unity is that it gives the reader an overall look at the Valiant Universe. From here the story touches on practically everything and if it hasn’t yet, I get the impression that it will soon enough. If you’re digging Armor Hunters then don’t miss out on Unity because they really are bouncing the story back and forth, but remaining on their own at the same time. It’s writing the handbook on how to handle event book tie-ins.
Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Stephen Segovia Colorist: Brian Reber Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/16/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital