In recent weeks, Valiant Comics has been building up to its big summer blockbuster, Armor Hunters, wherein we see Aric of Dacia aka X-O Manowar go up against another armor bearer and almost fail in the bargain. But soon enough, there are interstellar warriors who hunt down all armor bearers and kill them and sterilize the planets in the bargain. The story’s prelude in X-O Manowar and in the FCBD Special in May has been most interesting and it has definitely gotten my excited. With the close of the Dr. Silk arc in Unity, we now begin to see how the premier superheroes of the world are going to deal with this big threat, and what the summer event is truly about.
After the utter destruction of Mexico City in the closing pages of Armor Hunters #1, the US government sends in the heroes of the Unity team to deal with with the newly-arrived aliens responsible for this great tragedy. Ninjak and Eternal Warrior are given the task of confronting the aliens head-on, even as Livewire sets out on a mission to bring into the fold an old hero who has gone off the radar for a good while now. As is usual for him, Matt Kindt turns out another great story with a killer cliffhanger, carrying on the story very seamlessly from Robert Venditti, though Steven Segovia’s art is not quite as impressive as it could be.
The cover for this issue is by Mico Suayan, Clayton Crain and Trevor Hairsine and I think it is a pretty rocking cover. It shows all four members of the Armor Hunters team squaring off against the four members of Unity and it is a pretty sweet composition, with lots of packed action and drama, something that Unity has been pretty damn good at since the beginning of the series.
As I said above, the story is about Ninjak and Eternal Warrior going to Russia to stop the aliens any way they can, while Livewire is sent on a recruiting mission. The two halves of the story gel together pretty well, and by the end we see just the Unity stacks up to the might of the Armor Hunters and the results are quite surprising indeed, no matter which side of the conflict you happen to be cheering for. One thing is for sure here, that Matt Kindt has a damn good handle on all these different characters, and this is really gratifying since this is an eight of a new series, and that he has had all this time to get familiar with everyone and leave his own mark, which he does.
What’s so great about this new arc on the series is that it feels so very different to the first one and second both. The stories thus far have been pretty intense and while the world was always at stake before, now it all feels much different because actual aliens are behind the goddamn tragedies that are happening and it doesn’t look like even the heroes of the world are going to be enough in bringing them down. With Unity versus Aric in the first arc and then the Unity versus Dr. Silk in the second arc, there’s always a sense that the heroes can and would win through, but things are altogether more grim now, and it is a great place to be in as a reader.
Matt Kindt’s writing is fairly solid this time around, as is the case for him and this series, so nothing new to report here, except that Livewire’s scenes pretty much rocked, especially when the object of her search made his appearance, and in a really badass way too!
Unlike the previous issue where CAFU was the penciller, this time we have Stephen Segovia and his work is a bit better in comparison. His characters are much more well-defined and the action is really frenetic and captured well, which provides a much more immersive visual experience for the reader. Brian Reber is still on the art duties with Dave Sharpe on letters, so there’s that bit of consistency to the artwork as well, and everything works out for the better in the art as far this technical aspect is concerned.
Armor Hunters #1 surprised me with how good it was, both story and art, and Unity #8 carries on very well with that as its predecessor. I am now more excited than ever about this new phase.