Rating: 4/5 – Read as a ‘One & Done’ or as Background to the Series.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
In the wake of Valiant’s Armor Hunters event, which publicly introduced the world to its first “superhero team,” writer Matt Kindt takes a step back from the main narrative with Unity #0 to explore the old adage, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Through the eyes of the Gilad, the Eternal Warrior, Kindt transports the reader almost a century into the past to provide some history and perspective on team Unity. It would seem that this is not the first time world events have conspired to bring together a team of powerful individuals, nor is the current team roster the first to bear the name Unity.
In the shadows of World War I, the era’s superpowers were secretly backing their own team of unique individuals poised to tackle those threats deemed too important to leave to conventional methods. As with the current Unity lineup, Gilad was an integral part of this original team, known as Unit Y, and thus provides the narration. Kindt puts a lot of heart into the Eternal Warrior’s commentary, which not only guides us through the story, but also imparts some of Gilad’s wisdom about conflict and the human condition. It’s these nuggets of insight that really shine in a story that I thought was otherwise conventional. I never really felt like I got to know any of the characters in this brief look into the past, though I was certainly left wanting to know more. Nevertheless, Kindt did manage to tie everything together in a way that not only gives the team and the Valiant universe some history, but also paves the way for things to come. He even brilliantly linked this team to a World War II team that was previously introduced in the series, though never explicitly named. When seen as a cog in a much larger story that Kindt is crafting, another adage comes to mind, that being that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Cary Nord provides the art for this issue and I always feel like his style is tailor made for epic stories of the past. In that respect, it works beautifully with this story and lends it the extra gravitas that it needs. Complimenting Nord’s art perfectly are the colors by Jose Villarrubia, whose palette seemed to change depending on the character featured in the frame. He made the Eternal Warrior feel ancient, the supernatural warrior sufficiently mystical, and so on. He even managed to evoke an early twentieth century feel throughout the issue. These two talents absolutely need to collaborate again in the future.
Valiant continues to exemplify what zero issues are all about. Unity #0 tells a story that provides some history to the main series, but can easily stand alone as a one and done issue. With this issue, Matt Kindt skillfully sets the groundwork for the tale he’s been spinning for just under a dozen issues, while simultaneously hinting at the future of the things to come. There was definitely enough teased that I look forward to whatever else he has planned.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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