Unity #2

Written by Matt Kindt with art by Doug Braithwaite, "Unity" #2 is just the latest in a string of solid, entertaining, unhampered reads from Valiant Entertainment. Combining Livewire from Harbinger, Eternal Warrior, Toyo Harada and Ninjak against the reign of Aric of Dacia, who wears the X-O Manowar battlesuit, this story is more than just a bunch of characters punching each other in the face.

Technology controlling psiot Livewire and Harada, a sadistically masterfully telekinetic, team up, putting their shared past behind them and go about taking on Aric on multiple levels, even as the bearer of the X-O suit fights a physical battle against the Eternal Warrior. Aric, meanwhile, has baited a seemingly perfect trap, hurtling Harada's team into space and turning their attack into a farce. Harada and crew put aside their differences and make the most of the fight as Kindt wonderfully elevates the concept of "the enemy of my enemy is my ally." Kindt's voice for each character is sharply distinct and makes the navigation of "Unity" #2 flawless for even the most uninitiated reader. He not only showcases why Ninjak is cool, but he injects some humor and plenty of horror into this comic book.

While I really enjoy Doug Braithwaite's style and storytelling, his colored artwork always seems diminished. It is apparent that Braithwaite puts a lot of thought and effort into his drawings. It's also apparent that Brian Reber does the same with colors, but the two talents combined lack punch. Colors over Braithwaite's artwork feel like watercolors over a technical drawing. Sometimes it clicks and it's really neat to look at, but most of the time, I find myself just wanting to see the artwork pure and unfiltered. The story in "Unity" #2 has just enough grit and grime to make a strong case for a grayscale installment at some point.

"Unity" #2 is a well-paced, action-packed bigscreen adventure. As with most of the other offerings sampled from Valiant Entertainment, I found myself locked into a story that was more than I expected. It grabbed my attention right away and held firm. What's more, I certainly never saw the issue's conclusion coming. I initially thought about letting "Unity" pass me by, but Valiant continues to hook me.

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