UNITY seems to be the place where Valiant can just have a whole lot of fun throwing some of its most familiar faces into crazy scenarios and watch how they handle themselves in all kinds of action. This issue definitely has a good amount of that, but there's a surprising amount of emotion behind it, too. Thanks to some impressive visuals (art by Stephen Segovia, colors by Matt Milla), the opening sequence is a nice change of pace for the series and takes a sci-fi heavy turn as it focuses on one of the Armor Hunters' origin story and has an organic link back to the main narrative. This space scene hits you with a panel that's sure to drain you of your empathy, even if this is your first experience with GIN-GR. The face they create just shatters your heart. In an issue with so much action and destruction, that small moment is likely to be the one that impacts you the most.
It's no surprise that Ninjak gets a chance to show off how talented and formidable he is -- and it's most certainly an awesome sequence -- but writer Matt Kindt wisely uses this display of badassery to also hit us with the weight of the publisher's big event. Sure, seeing Ninjak flip around, stab and utilize new weaponry is all kinds of cool -- especially thanks to Segovia and Milla's handling of each motion and attack -- but the bit is also used to add more weight and heartbreak to the situation. There's some really impactful panels and it's great to see that doesn't just fade away immediately after the action sequence has concluded. We've watched these characters go through a lot and shrug it off, but the way this dark action scene is handled really allows it to sink in and showing a character reflect on the horrific thing that just went down was hugely appreciated. It's far too often these characters come off as cliche, unstoppable badasses, so it's welcome to see them hit with more humanizing moments from time to time.
Just so you know, this isn't very new reader friendly. Sure, there's a fine opening page and enough exposition to make it technically serve as a jumping on point, but if you're not following the event, you won't get a full appreciation for what's going on, especially with GIN-GR. Also, as much as I love having a team-up with Ninjak and Eternal Warrior, their roles are beginning to fall into a pattern. Gilad gets a chance to do something remotely cool -- he does or doesn't and it may or may not have a flashback sequence first -- and then Ninjak does something way cooler. Look, I love Ninjak and I'm thrilled to see him doing some seriously impressive things and even get some character beats, but it would great to see Gilad shine more frequently. He's feeling severely underused and has yet to get any real depth in this series (aside from flashbacks).
UNITY #10 offers thrilling action that's back-up by some solid artwork and a surprising amount of heart. Kindt has thrown these characters right into Valiant's latest big event and the end result is a legitimately exciting and even slightly emotional experience. Even completely new readers will be moved by the intro and the creative team does an effective job showing us just how much this event is impacting ordinary people and not just immortal soldiers and slick ninjas. It may not feel like a mandatory read, but it's definitely something worthy of your time and attention.