March 22nd, 2015

Indie Comic of the Week: Unit 5 #1

Unit 5 #1

Written by Skip Winter and Art by Joe Martino, Steven Wilcox, Jeff Austin, Blake Wilkie

#HotTakes:  Unit 5 #1 is a cool book which follows five regular types (normies if you will) who have martial arts abilities and alternate identities as Unit 5, where they combat terrorism in New York City.  At first I was a little turned off by the idea of glamorizing a militarized police state in order to prevent terrorism (you know, like the real world we live in right now) but then I realized that isn’t really what the book is about and was completely on board.  Good read, looking forward to the next one.

Unit 5 CoverFull Review:  Unit 5 #1 is a “relaunching” of the Unit 5 comic brand.  It takes place in New York City as it has been reshaped after the 9/11 terrorist attack.  Unit 5 consists of five people with extraordinary skills who suit up in body armor (with a hint of biomechanical improvements) and protect the city from further terrorist attacks and crime in general it would appear.  The five people under the masks consist of a skateboarding police officer, a computer programming dj, a mechanical virtuoso model, a weight lifting scientist, and a formula 1 racing person with no identity.  All of which are equipped with skills in various martial arts that I don’t know how to translate from words into what they mean except that I have definitely heard a few of those words when playing Tekken.

The story gives a little introduction and background into the five characters as well as introducing their team leader who gives them their assignments.  Through the story of the first book they are appointed by the Mayor of NYC to combat terrorism and stop it in its tracks.  To be honest I was a little concerned with the message of the book as I was reading through that section of it as it seemed to glamorize militarization of police and put faceless body armor clad ninjas out on the street to punch heads off of terrorist robots and given my liberal leanings I was a bit concerned about the message that this put out there.  The fact that we live in a world where actual faceless body armor clad police officers patrol the streets and use military vehicles to intimidate citizens was a little tough to deal with for me.  However, I will go on record as saying that I fully endorse this book because the story in the end of the first book takes a little bit of a twist to make this more than what I originally thought when reading through it.  So that was my bad.

The first thing that really jumps out to me about the book are the colors.  They’re absolutely incredible and the art is really in depth and brings a lot to the book.  The story introduces these characters as colorful people (literally in the sense that they have different color accents on their suits and figuratively because they have diverse backgrounds) and I believe is going to go on to tell a great overarching tale.

About the Author

Michael Gray
Law student, recovering musician, writer, Stark of Winterfell.


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