Unity’s latest arc, “Trapped in the Webnet,” came to a close yesterday just in time for Valiant’s upcoming crossover, “Armor Hunters.” I’ve loved the title thus far, and was excited as we headed into the finale of the team’s second mission. Did this issue leave us with a satisfying conclusion as the team prepares for their next test? Let’s take a look at Unity #7.
We pick up with the team scattered across the world after taking down Doctor Silk’s base in Taiwan. They rush to defeat Silk’s master plan which involves a visual virus that takes effect when people see a specific equation written in an alien language. When activated, the virus turns the affected people into violent slaves of Silk. Hoping to prevent a global catastrophe, Livewire hacks into Silk’s the secret files of Webnet, Doctor Silk’s covert organization. X-O Manowar races to defend London from an airliner, while the Eternal Warrior takes point in Mexico City to eliminate the virus’s main distribution center. Meanwhile, Ninjak heads directly to the source, and seeks to slaughter Silk himself.
As always, Unity reflects Valiant’s dedication to quality. Cafu’s artwork is downright awesome, and he draws some of the best fight scenes we’ve seen in the Valiant Universe. Watching Ninjak take out brainwashed troops and Gilad fight in ancient Tenochtitlan are an absolute spectacle. The use of expressive faces and body language cements the work, as do the amazing backgrounds from a plethora of exotic locales. Brian Reber’s colors make the artwork pop, highlighting each character with his or her own color palette that gives a sense of both synergy and individuality among the team.
Unity #7 wraps up the arc that started back in issue #5, finishing Doctor Silk’s story (for now, at least). Matt Kindt continues writing solid characters, excelling at writing a plethora of personalities from the pensive Gilad to the inquisitive Livewire. Kindt also succeeds in balancing numerous characters, all of whom are in different locations; despite this, it never feels like any character’s plotline is ignored, albeit I do wish we’d seen more of Livewire. Kindt also shows Aric’s character progression in this issue; though much of his transformation from a wild warrior to a caring leader has occurred in the pages of his own title, I like that this issue shows us another dimension of his greater sense of empathy. We’re also treated to some solid dialogue throughout the issue.
Nevertheless, I feel this was the weakest issue of the series in terms of writing; the conclusion, while interesting and setting the stage for future events, wrapped up too quickly for my taste. I’m guessing Kindt needed to keep this arc short to prepare for “Armor Hunters,” but I still feel an extra issue to round out the arc could have provided ample space for a more satisfying ending. Furthermore, an explanation concerning one character made no sense to me: if you were branded with a symbol on your back by a man you hated, and by showing that symbol to other people you’d risk them turning into slaves of that man, would you consistently wear a backless shirt? Perhaps that’s a minor gripe, but it still stood out as an obvious problem.
Overall, Unity #7 is a good comic, though the art exceeds the writing. If you’ve been following the series, you’ll definitely enjoy this issue, but it’s nowhere near as good as the entries leading up to this point. Even so, I’m very excited for “Armor Hunters,” including the Unity tie-in which will bring Bloodshot into the team.
-exceptional artwork from Cafu and Reber
-great fight scenes
-balances a large, varied cast
-illogical actions of one secondary character
Brett Simon is a twenty-four year old comic enthusiast. He’ll never drink bottled water again.
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