REVIEW: Unity #14

Written by Matt Kindt
Art by CAFU
Colors by Brian Reber
Published by Valiant Entertainment LLC.

I have officially experienced a comic book epiphany! What Valiant is doing right now is providing us with an opportunity to purchase gold uniquely shaped into the form of a comic book. This treasure is called Unity.

For the last several years, I have struggled to find a comic book title that has consistently delivered incomparable storytelling in conjunction with fantastic artwork. As a result of my unfortunate predicament, my weekly pull list began to dwindle, so much so, that it reached the point where I found myself collecting just three monthly titles. Sad isn’t it? Especially for someone who’s been collecting for 30 plus years…no, I’m not an octogenarian – I’m still in my 30’s! I simply went through a phase where I wasn’t satisfied at all with the majority of the books I was buying. My collection was being heavily influenced by quantity instead of quality. What really started to agitate me, was automatically procuring titles just because it tied into a storyline or major event…you know those events…where some of the tie-ins might feature a key development for a plot that takes more than a year or so to unfold. Worse yet, I even bought some of these lackluster books in the variant cover format. I thought to myself (non-expletive version), “enough is enough – why waste my money on any current title, or titles, especially when I end up falling asleep four hours before bedtime trying to read them?”

Along comes Valiant during this rough stretch of my comic collecting life, making their presence in the industry known once again. My first reaction to this was “oh, I remember these guys from the 90’s.” So, even though I didn’t find Valiant comics appealing during their first stint, I decided to give them another try.

My first “new era” Valiant acquisition was the second Eternal Warrior series. I read it and enjoyed it – a lot. Then, the second series of Rai was released. I went to my local comic shop and immediately noticed the smooth artwork of Clayton Crain on the cover of Rai #1. I bought Rai without hesitation. This was the first opportunity I had to fully absorb Matt Kindt’s writing. I was not disappointed by any means whatsoever with the collaboration between Kindt and Crain on Rai. I was impressed, in fact, I was extremely impressed. Subsequently, I learned Matt Kindt was also the writer for Unity. I picked up Unity starting with issue #6 while simultaneously locating all of the previously released Unity issues. Once I obtained the books, I read them all in one sitting. Afterwards, I was overwhelmed with excitement. My weekly pull list began to grow once more…this time dominated by Valiant titles. What followed next was scary. I went on a rampage of monumental proportions in my new quest to search for any Valiant issues I didn’t have. I started with X-O Manowar, then Harbinger, Bloodshot, etc. You name it I went looking for it.

Of all of the Valiant titles out right now, Unity has become my personal favorite. This is the title that has me paying really close attention to upcoming release dates, previews, new story arc notifications or any piece of information regarding Unity that I can possibly get my hands on. Why do you ask? I can sum it up in one word: QUALITY. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just look at the bottom right hand corner of Unity issue #14. Unity has a Harvey Award nomination for Best Single Issue.

Unity #14 brings us the highly anticipated showdown between The United, a super-powered group banded together by several United Nations ambassadors, and Unity, the U.S/U.K. sponsored team. The premise of this confrontation mainly lies with the sentient alien robot GIN-GR, who was coerced into obliterating Mexico City and parts of Los Angeles by the extraterrestrial Armor Hunters. It was widely believed GIN-GR was destroyed by Unity. Instead, GIN-GR was kept intact and out of public view. The United were aware that GIN-GR was still operational and targeted the immensely powerful robot in an attempt to control it. They even went to the extent of kidnapping Unity’s MI-6 contact, Neville Alcott, for access to GIN-GR.

This war between the two teams is nothing compared to the scrutiny, contempt and mistrust some people have directed towards Unity and their alien ally GIN-GR. How would you feel if those who are entrusted to protect you are doing it with a living weapon that was seen leveling an entire city, effectively wiping out its residents in one fell swoop? How could anyone predict or promise that this type of incident would never occur again? How do you explain all of this to the world and get away with it? How do you convince the world community to view the good that came out of the Mexico City desolation? Didn’t this tragedy lead to GIN-GR becoming an ally of humanity and a viable solution against any potential threats that could be made against the Earth? Does the cost outweigh the benefit?

The answers to these questions, and more, lie within the pages of Unity #14, brilliantly written by Matt Kindt. Issue after issue, Kindt delivers meaningful plots that will satisfy all types of readers. His work will undoubtedly stand the test of time and serve as positive motivation for aspiring writers, myself included. The sharp artwork supplied by CAFU throughout the current story arc has been nothing short of incredible. Brian Reber’s work with the colors on this particular book and other issues of Unity has been exceptional.

Right after I read Unity #14, I immediately texted Al Mega (Owner of Comic Crusaders) with a word I seldom use to describe any comic book. That word was…PERFECT. Unity #14 is PERFECT! If I could give Unity #14 more than five stars, I would. This is a great testament to Valiant for putting together the right team at the right time for the right reasons.

I tip my cowl in respect to the Valiant team overall on a job well done, and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the creative team of Unity, for reminding me that comic book gold still exists during the Modern Age of comic books.

Comic shops – beware! You’ll know when you’re being visited by The 13th Crusader when I enter your store in the same fashion as Ninjak on the day the next issue of Unity is released!

Until next time!

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