Unity #5 sees a new team and a new arc. Ninjak, Livewire, X-O Manowar, and Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior, are now working for MI-6 to deal with global threats. This time, it is a strange, very large, piece of alien space junk fallen in Taiwan and a mysteriously re-incarnate villain, Silk, posing a threat–and no one knows yet just how big a threat or to whom.
Livewire narrates the opening of this issue, signaling a welcome increase in her importance here. She is still grappling with her decision to leave Harada, sure it was the right decision, unsure of how (or if) working for MI-6 is truly better. In the meantime, however, she has to locate and decide what to do with a fallen bit of alien debris, and she’s lost communication with her backup. The rest of the team is sent to locate her and find a village dominated by Silk, someone they know little about, and they find themselves facing a situation with roots well back in time.
Kindt sets the opening story well. The pieces of the mystery are laid out, and the personalities introduced in a way that will allow new readers to identify them quickly without being onerous for those who have read previous books. One thing that makes this possible is the fact that, while some of the people involved have worked together in the past, some have not, and even those who have worked together have not done so in some time or at this capacity. There are also some lovely bits of humor, as when Gilad explains why it is so easy to get into someone else’s fortress home, plus some hints at tension that may develop as the team learns to work together–and a handy cautionary tale from Gilad, to highlight this as well as being relevant to the current situation.
CAFU’s art features lavish sets. The mysterious piece of space-debris Livewire is investigating, with its odd windows and twisted metal, the interior of Ninjak’s home with its carved walls and stained glass windows, the mysterious village, and other scenes are rendered with loving detail. The characters tend to stand a bit stiffly, but their facial expressions are mobile and clear, and the colors are rich and lush, fitting the style and detail. Flashbacks get less detail and color, helping to clarify what is happening when.
I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it many times in the months to come: Unity remains a must-read book for all those who love superheroes, mystery, and intrigue.