By James Asmus, Karl Moline, Mark Pennington, and Andrew Dalhouse.
“Crush your Enemy Totally – All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.”
― Robert Greene & Joost Elffers — The 48 Laws of Power
Having consistently reviewed Valiant Entertainment’s Unity over the past, it was refreshing to read Unity #23 last month and witness a promising return to the book in both art and in writing. The “Revenge of the Armor Hunters” has been eagerly awaited since the mega-crossover event ended back in 2014. Writer James Asmus does quite well with both the characters and story in Unity #24, and provides an enjoyable (temporary?) conclusion for the “Revenge of the Armor Hunters” story arc leading into the final issue of the series (and mega-event) that is Unity #25. There are a number of interesting interactions that occur in Unity #24 that are useful in understanding the intentions and alliances of specific characters where previously there may have been doubt. Additionally, we observe characters operating within the correct scope of their abilities, powers, and/or talents which demonstrates that Asmus has a full grasp of the source material, and “gets” the characters he is writing about. Asmus is clearly different in style and/or approach than Matt Kindt (who wrote Unity prior to Asmus), but that is to be expected. Asmus is a welcome addition to this title, and provides a quality book.
Artists Karl Moline and Mark Pennington make their attempt at penciling and inking Unity with this issue, and do so with an artistic style that is unique to the series (not seen in previous issues). There is a certain cartoony-quality and feel to the artwork (which is not a bad thing), and it is visibly different than what both readers and fans of the series have come to expect from Unity. It might be interesting to see this art team on a different title in the future (perhaps Quantum & Woody?) where their particular art style might be a better fit. Since “The Warmonger” story arc (Unity #19 through Unity #21) Valiant appears to have used Unity to test a number of different art teams and/or styles, which carry mixed reviews and/or fan reactions. It is vital for a publisher to expand their talent pool and when it comes to artwork, there are only so many ways to accomplish that, which is likely what we are seeing here in the pages of Unity. Colorist Andrew Dalhouse works with Moline and Pennington’s pages, and provides the best work he is able to. His color palette is correct and on-point with this issue.
With the “Revenge of the Armor Hunters” story arc at a close, readers can (and should) look forward to Unity #25 as an enjoyable event. Valiant Entertainment has decided to publish Unity’s “Final Issue Humor Spectacular!” in the upcoming issue #25 with an all-star creative cast, which is an event no fan should miss out on.