Review: Unity #1 motion book (Valiant Entertainment/Madefire)

The return of Valiant Comics gets a digital makeover with the release of Unity #1 motion book courtesy of Madefire.  But does This Avengers-type team, made up of their own big characters in a team book (and named after their big event of the 90’s) continue the success Valiant continues to garner or is this one title that should be considered non-canon?

Unity motion book #1Publisher: Valiant Comics/Madefire App
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artists: Doug Braithwaite (Artist), Brian Beber (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer)
Price: £1.49

Unity #1 pulls in story threads from some of Valiant’s already ongoing series as Alric of Dacia, the protagonist of X-O Manowar, returns to Earth to reclaim his peoples ancestral lands with his powerful alien armour, an act which doesn’t sit too well with the lands current and neighbouring nations. Therefore, in a desperate attempt to prevent the Earth’s annihilation, Toyo Harada, with help from the Eternal Warrior, sets about creating a team who can, with assistance from Ninjak, defeat Alric.

Matt Kindt certainly brings a dynamic story which entertains the notion of spectacular events coming to pass in future issues. However, as a body of work on it’s own, Unity #1 is something a mixed bag. While Kindt does pull off a very kinetic script which never seems to let up on the action and even displays unusual twists for the genre, the major problem with this title is the reliance on other Valiant titles it demonstrates within the story . This is evident as none of the characters here are remarkably fleshed out beyond the opening page recap, it presumably being assumed that readers are already very familiar with Valiant’s characters. This reliance also affects the story as the foundations the premise is based on comes from another title and is not greatly emphasised upon here.

The art, on the other hand, is really great and is what makes this book special as Braithwaite, Beber and Sharpe place on the page very vibrant, detailed panels which all seem to take great inspiration from the Avengers movie, such is the cinematic feel of the title. Of course, this is in no small part to the terrific use of the motion comic aspect which Madefire provides. Utilizing the motion comic capabilities, Unity feels decidedly better as an event comic than a regular print comic as seeing the characters act as it plays out in such cinematic fashion and with shocks having a greater impact, the story feels much more engrossing to read.

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Unity #1 feels like the start of an epic event thanks to proper use of the Madefire motion book technology, which gives this super-crossover a fresh and invigorating feel. Unfortunately an over reliance on back story from Valiant’s other titles to tell the story makes this a tricky first issue to get to grips with for new readers.