By Matt Kindt, Jose Luis, Alisson Rodrigues, Glauber Matos, Wayne Faucher, Alejandro Sicat, Ryan Winn, Andrew Dalhouse, Allen Passalaqua, Pete Pantazis
Writer Matt Kindt’s fourth and final chapter of the “Warmonger” story arc that began in Unity #19 comes to a close this month. Having read each issue in-depth, and further having reviewed other chapters of this story, it should be said that Unity #22 is easily the best of the four issues and avoids several of the artistic problem areas that were discussed in previous reviews for Unity #19, #20, and #21 (e.g. art style transitions between the past flashbacks and present events). Unity #22 brings it all together providing a story that is engaging and enjoyable, while further tying into unknown background characters and events that transpired more than 20 issues ago! While by no means the greatest issue of Unity to date, Kindt does a great job of bringing this story closure while leaving possibilities for more should the need ever arise. The REAL question now that Kindt has completed “Warmonger” is what does he have in-store leading into (the highly anticipated) Unity #25 this December?
There were a LOT of artists, inkers, and colorists that worked on this book. Nine in total! That is more than a few hands in the pot, and in the previous issues (Unity #19, #20, and #21) there were questions if perhaps so many artists with differing styles were responsible for the highly noticeable art style transitions observed in those issues. This was 120% NOT the case with the team of J.A.G.-W.A.R.A.A.P. (yes, Artist Jose Luis; inkers Alisson Rodrigues, Glauber Matos, Wayne Faucher, Alejandro Sicat, Ryan Winn; and colorists Andrew Dalhouse, Allen Passalaqua, Pete Pantazis) who managed to all stay on the same page artistically creating (clearly) the best art of the four issues. Artist Jose Luis leads this team of artists by creating a consistent art-style cover-to-cover that creates a detailed setting for this story to unfold in, while further breathing life and emotion into each character. All pages are inked uniformly with the same quality, enhancing Luis’s pencils to full effect. But it is the color artistry of Andrew Dalhouse, Allen Passalaqua, Pete Pantazis that adds richness and texture to it all. Colors are vivid, but match the settings appropriately. Skin has shading and shine; the clouds in the sky show the shadows and highlights of the setting sun; light glistens from Warmonger’s axe and X-O Manowar’s power-blade glows white-hot. Unity #22 really is artistically a vast improvement over the last few issues.
If you read the “Warmonger” story arc, don’t miss this issue; it deserves a good read. Having closed this chapter of Unity, and with the events transpiring in the pages of X-O Manowar, Imperium, and Book of Death, the stage is being set for great things to come for this title in the near-future.