Comic Name: Unity
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
# of Issues: 4
Release Date: 2014
Reprints Unity #1-4 (November 2013-February 2014). Aric of Dacia has returned to Earth and claimed a large chunk of Romania for his people. In the X-O Manowar armor, Aric appears to be invincible…but Toyo Harada has other plans! Assembling a team of Livewire, Ninjak, and the Eternal Warrior, Harada plans to take down Aric…but has his own plans for the X-O Manowar armor.
Written by Matt Kindt and illustrated by Braithwaite, Unity 1: To Kill a King spins out of the X-O Manowar comic storyline and is the relaunched Valiant’s first collected superhero team with characters from other comics. The title Unity also was used in the original 1990s run of Valiant as a massive crossover event.
To be honest, despite being on the Valiant mailer, I didn’t realize when I started reading Unity that Unity was a team and not an event. The lead up to Unity harkened to the original Unity which served to bring Valiant together in 1992 and I simply thought that the “new” Valiant was doing the same thing…I was wrong. Unity is formed here as a team and this marks their first (and possibly last?) adventure.
Obviously, it isn’t the last adventure of Unity since it is a continuing title, but Unity works more like Marvel’s Defenders. It is a rather loose team with no base and the roster at the moment seems rather fluid. I would like to see more characters brought into the team and do find it interesting that it is less about Valiant’s heavy hitters as it is to actually form a function team with various roles for each member.
The story ran in conjunction with X-O Manowar, but I commend Matt Kindt for keeping the stories “separate but equal”. I’m not a big fan of huge crossovers and prefer a comic to enhance each other. Unity for the most part can be read without reading X-O Manowar, but reading X-O Manowar is beneficial to understanding what is going on in the story.
Valiant also does a great job recruiting artists. Though Doug Braithwaite is a pretty standard comic book artist, he is a solid comic book artist. The story looks great and the characters designs are smart for what he has to work with. It always rather bothered me both with the new and the old Valiant that the characters (except X-O Manowar) don’t have very distinct costumes…I’d like to see some uniforms or great costumes on some of these characters even if that turns it into a real comic book team.
Unity 1: To Kill a King is a nice start to a series. The comic market is brimming with titles and it is tough to justify picking up so many, but Valiant is doing a good job keeping the stories straight and the universe “clean” and simple. I look forward to seeing where Unity goes. Unity 1: To Kill a King is followed by Unity 2: Trapped by Webnet.
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