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Preview: The Union #5 (of 5)

The Union #5 (of 5)

(W) Paul Grist (A/CA) Andrea Di Vito
Rated T+
In Shops: May 05, 2021
SRP: $3.99

THE DRAMATIC FINALE!
• Doc Croc has defeated Union Jack and the team!
• But can this truly be the end of the line for our new heroes?
• Or can they receive one last push to pull it together?

The Union #5 (of 5)

Preview: The Union #4 (of 5)

The Union #4 (of 5)

(W) Paul Grist (A) Andrea Di Vito (CA) R. B. Silva
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 31, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Caught in the cries of the Choir!
• With their sonic-powered teammate in trouble, Union Jack and the team must rescue the Choir before it’s too late!
• But what the Union finds out about the Choir may be too much even for them!
• Plus, meet the team’s newest recruit…Bulldog!

The Union #4 (of 5)

Preview: The Union #3 (of 5)

The Union #3 (of 5)

(W) Paul Grist (A) Andrea Di Vito (CA) R. B. Silva
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 24, 2021
SRP: $3.99

KELPIE GOES ROGUE!
• In the wake of the disastrous Knull invasion, Kelpie takes drastic action…
• …but when her choices land her in hot water, only Union Jack will be able to save her!

The Union #3 (of 5)

Preview: The Union #2 (of 5)

The Union #2 (of 5)

(W) Paul Grist (A) Andrea Di Vito (CA) Paco Medina
Rated T+
In Shops: Jan 13, 2021
SRP: $3.99

• The Union must battle for their lives (and each other) as the invasion crescendos!
• Thrust unto the global stage, will they be able to prove themselves as a team or will they crumble as the world watches?
• Plus, a devastating blow to the fledgling team rocks them to their very core!

The Union #2 (of 5)

Review: The Union #1 is a Half-Baked Attempt at Both a new superhero Team and an Event Tie-In

The Union #1

I was familiar with Paul Grist’s work from his work with Grant Morrison on the underrated (And, at the time, highly controversial) 1989 British indie comic St. Swithin’s Day where a disaffected youngster sets out to assassinate Margaret Thatcher. With the exception of the first page that is both written and drawn by Grist in a cheeky cartoonish style, The Union #1 lacks this book’s satirical edge and dark humor and introduces a fairly generic team of UK-themed superheroes to fight some fairly generic symbiote types connected to the King in Black crossover. The visuals from Andrea Di Vito, Drew Geraci, Le Beau Underwood, and Nolan Woodard are decent and have some decent energy any of The Union members use their abilities like Kelpie masquerading as a puddle in a training session against British soldiers. I also liked the recycled Phonogram: Rue Britannia plot point though.

I’m a big Anglophile and was really looking forward to a new team of British Marvel heroes in The Union #1, but boy, was I disappointed. There are the seeds of some good ideas in the book with Grist and Di Vito establishing from the get-go that the team is a big media stunt complete with making sure that England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland are each represented by a team member. They also establish a media pecking order with everyone wanting to speak to Britannia, and Union Jack, who has appeared in comics for the past four decades and even had his own series several times, getting out and out shooed by the breakfast TV host parodies, Phil and Suzanne. It’s kind of funny because Union Jack is really the only character in the book with any kind of personality even if his narrative captions are pretty basic commentary on being a hero for a long time (Yay sliding timelines!) and the legacy of British imperialism. The other team members, Snakes, Kelpie, and The Choir also get to showcase their unique powers and be generally sassy towards their government handlers. This sounds like a superhero book, I could get into, like Justice League International with a UK flavor.

However, character development and the dynamic between The Union, the British government, and corporate sponsor Steve Darwin is all thrown aside for an editorially mandated King in Black crossover that will last all five issues of the miniseries. Paul Grist and Andrea Di Vito really get into generic superhero team-up beats complete with hapless bystanders falling under some form of mind ,er, symbiote control and a telegraphed taking out of a main character before you have a chance to really get to know them (Again, think Phonogram.). There’s also the ol’ team rallying together in a big team pose instead of a cliffhanger that makes me want to pick up the second issue. (I will because I’m a softie for British superheroes, and with his reputation, Grist deserves another chance.)

As I mentioned earlier, Andrea Di Vito, Drew Geraci, LeBeau Underwood, and Nolan Woodard’s art is probably the less egregious part of The Union #1. For example, Woodard uses deep blacks for the symbiotes against the cloyingly bright palette of the Somerset to show how silly all the media prattle seems against a real threat. In the same scene, Di Vito, Geraci, and Underwood channel medieval compositions when Britannia goes against a symbiote dragon while quipping about St. George not actually being British, which is a nice bit of satire about the emptiness and historical inaccuracy of nationalist symbolism from Paul Grist. If only the rest of the comic could have synthesized wit and action like these pages. However, I didn’t have many complaints about the art. It’s easy to follow, and each team member has a distinct design and power set even if their personalities aren’t as fleshed out yet.

Paul Grist, Andrea Di Vito, Drew Geraci, LeBeau Underwood, and Nolan Woodard introduce a new British superhero team in The Union #1, but the novelty of new characters (and the return of an old one) is soon overwhelmed by one-dimensional characterization, predictable plot beats, and the burden of having to be an origin story and event tie-in. Also, Grist’s script lacks the bite of his U.K. indie work even though he gets a couple of licks in. I’m really curious to see how much of his original vision was “editorialized” out.

Story: Paul Grist Pencils: Andrea Di Vito with Paul Grist
Inks: Drew Geraci, LeBeau Underwood with Paul Grist
Colors: Nolan Woodard Letters: Travis Lanham
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle – Zeus Comics

Around the Tubes

Kill a Man

The weekend is almost here! What geeky things will you all be doing? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for the weekday to end and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Roll a natural 20 with POCKETSS – Free comics!

Kotaku – You Can All Get This Ugly Suit In Arkham Knight Now – Zur En Arrh ugly!? Hell no! It’s a classic!

Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman/Catwoman #1
Comics Bulletin – Detective Comics #826
Comic Watch – Kill A Man
CBR – The Union #1

Review: The Union #1

The Union #1

I read The Union #1 before King in Black #1 which actually helped the experience in some ways. Focused on a new team bringing together heroes from around the United Kingdom, the story is an introduction as it dives directly into an event tie-in.

Written by Paul Grist, The Union #1 is both good and bad. As far as an introduction to the team and their goal, there’s things that work. The issue revolves a lot around the team being introduced to the nation as an example of its unity. The use of the media and morning television smells of a realism and interesting aspect. The team is being introduced to the nation as well as to the reader. But, it also shows that the team is as much as public relations move as it is one of national security. It forces the reader to question why members have been chosen and if it’s due to their abilities or because they fit some aspect the PR team deemed important.

There’s a lot there to build off of as it shows some cracks already in the team and you wonder how it’ll play to the actual reality Britain and the region is going through. That’s touched upon but not really enough. That’s part of the bad of the issue as well. It touches upon reality and uses it to some extent but it mostly is just a line or two instead of a real discussion.

What really works is the tie-in to King in Black. The team is unaware as to what’s going to happen and if read before the main event issue (also out this week) it acts as a greater surprise to the reader. Like them, we’re surprised at the event unfolding before them and us. Reading the two issues in the reverse order, that surprise and sense of “what the hell” is lost. We the reader are no longer surprised, we have knowledge the comic characters don’t.

The art by Grist and Andrea Di Vito is pretty good. There’s a nice focus on the characters and their interactions that emphasizes the team dynamics. It doesn’t go over the top with the action but still delivers some solid designs and use of panels. Drew Geraci, Le Beau Underwood, and Grist provide the ink while Nolan Woodard handle colors. As the story progresses and the attack begins the art and color shift a bit to better show off the darkness coming. It never fully falls into darkness though and sticks to its lighter visuals.

The Union #1 is a rare debut tie-in that works really well. The issue plays off the attack quite well while building up an interesting dynamic for the team. The building blocks are here for what could potentially be a very entertaining story. It’s just a question to see what it does with the seeds its sown.

Story: Paul Grist Art: Andrea Di Vito, Paul Grist
Ink: Drew Geraci, Le Beau Underwood, Paul Grist Color: Nolan Woodard Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Preview: The Union #1 (of 5)

The Union #1 (of 5)

(W) Paul Grist (A) Andrea Di Vito, Paul Grist (CA) R. B. Silva
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 02, 2020
SRP: $3.99

The grand unveiling of The Union! A team of super heroes gathered from all over the United Kingdom, featuring Union Jack, Snakes, Kelpie, Choir, and their fearless leader, Brittania! But when disaster strikes on their first public debut, in the form of the invasion of Empyre, the fledgling team is immediately pushed to their limits! Don’t miss out on an exciting new chapter of Marvel from legendary creators, Paul Grist (JUDGE DREDD, JACK STAFF) and Andrea Di Vito!

The Union #1 (of 5)

Britain’s Greatest Heroes Come Together of Union #1 Variant Covers

On Wednesday, December 2, a new UK-based super hero team make their highly-anticipated debut in The Union! The new series by writer Paul Grist and artist Andrea Di Vito will spin directly out of the events of King in Black and will introduce exciting new superheroes to the Marvel Universe. In addition to Union Jack, fans will soon meet another one of Britain’s most legendary heroes, the mighty Britannia. Joining them will be The Choir, a living weapon with sonic abilities, the ancient water demon known as Kelpie, and Snakes, the mysterious telepath and muscle of the team. Celebrate The Union’s grand premiere with some amazing variant covers coming your way courtesy of Marvel’s top artists and a special variant cover by series writer Paul Grist!

See Union Jack face off against one of Knull’s symbiote dragons on Carlos Pacheco’s cover and see Britannia in all her glory on Ema Lupacchino’s cover. The entire team comes together to defend queen and country on Mike McKone’s cover. And meet the team on Paul Grist’s special variant cover which offers a unique introduction to these new players in the Marvel Universe!

  • THE UNION #1 VARIANT COVER by CARLOS PACHECO with inks by RAFAEL FONTERIZ and colors by NOLAN WOODARD (MAR200868)
  • THE UNION #1 VARIANT COVER by EMA LUPACCHINO with colors by DAVE MCCAIG (MAR200865)
  • THE UNION #1 VARIANT COVER by MIKE MCKONE with colors by MORRY HOLLOWELL (MAR200867)
  • THE UNION #1 VARIANT COVER by PAUL GRIST with colors by NOLAN WOODARD (AUG208260)

The Union Unites Against the King in Black

The Union by writer Paul Grist and artist Andrea Di Vito will make its grand debut this December! When Knull and his symbiote dragons invade Earth, the Britannia Project, a top-secret program, will assemble a new team of British superheroes. The goal: to be an exemplar of what Britain can be…to show that we can overcome our differences, and work together to protect with a common purpose!

The Union is led by the beloved Britannia, the noble warrior-hero who has long stood as a beacon for all that is best and bright in these historic isles. But despite the Project’s best efforts, these heroes aren’t quite what they seem, and Britannia may have her work cut out for her!

In addition to Union Jack, readers everywhere will soon meet exciting new UK-based heroes such as:

The Choir, a victim of scientific experiments who became a living weapon with sonic abilities: whether that’s subtle sounds to disorient people’s brains, or screams that could knock over buildings! The most tragic member of the team, she finds it hard to trust others.

Kelpie, an ancient water demon who can turn her body to water and has control over water around her. Though she seems light and breezy, she may be the most volatile member of the team.

Snakes, the muscle of the team…but also the most mysterious. He’s a man of few words–probably because he’s a telepath to boot! People are uncomfortable around him. Is he a man to be trusted?

And of course, Britannia, one of Britain’s oldest heroes. She symbolizes all that’s bright and good about Britain. If she can’t whip these heroes into a team, no one can!

Don’t miss out on an exciting new chapter of Marvel when The Union hits stands this December with a cover by R.B. Silva!

The Union
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