REVIEW: ‘The Union,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Union #2

The Union #2 is written by Paul Grist, penciled by Andrea De Vito, inked by Le Beau Underwood, colored by Nolan Woodard, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It is published by Marvel Comics. Following the events of the first issue, Union Jack and the rest of the Union work together to battle Knull’s symbiote dragons in the wake of King in Black. Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal the secret origin of the Choir and the connection she and the other Union members have to Britannia.

In my review of the first issue, I mentioned that The Union was originally meant to debut during the events of Empyre but changed tracks to tie into King In Black-mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is obviously evident due to certain elements in the book; victims possessed by symbiotes have the standard white text on black backgrounds that normally fit Venom, instead of the jagged red balloons that Knull and his horde speak in. I’m not sure if this was an oversight on the editorial’s part or if Lanham didn’t have access to previous issues of King in Black or its related tie-ins. Also, while the first issue of King in Black is referenced, the issue feels more concerned with building the team than tying into the ongoing event.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This issue addresses the sole problem I had with the first issue-namely, that we didn’t get to learn more about the Union members. Here, more is revealed about their powers and natures. Kelpie has the power to control water and more often than not gets lost in the heat of battle. Snakes is the literal definition of “strong yet silent,” possessing ten men’s strength and rarely speaking-and when he does, he is blunt and to the point. Choir is rather unsure of her power, and that leads to her falling into Knull’s clutches. Grist’s script perfectly ties together powers and personalities and shows how one can affect the other.

Grist also shows the difference between how Union Jack handles the team and how Britannia handles it. Britannia, much like Captain America or Superman, represents the very best of her country. Grist is not subtle about how the Union is meant to work together, regardless of petty differences like nationality, which is especially pointed at given events in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, Union Jack is more used to cloak-and-dagger operations than being out in the open. The fun of the issue is seeing him struggling to step up and be a leader, especially when the team doesn’t want to be around him. I hope to see more of this in future issues.

De Vito, Underwood, and Woodard turn in solid work on the artistic side. De Vito gets to design new looks for Knull-possessed troopers, with plenty of spikes and the dark deity’s trademark spiral symbol. Woodard also utilizes pinks and purples to create an eerie atmosphere, contrasting rather sharply with the symbiote barrier that Knull has erected over the Earth.

The Union #2 takes the time to delve into its characters and how they work as a team, though it sacrifices its story’s tie-in elements. Given how the issue ends, Union Jack’s days of being a superhero team leader aren’t over yet.

The Union #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 


The Union #2
4

TL;DR

The Union #2 takes the time to delve into its characters and how they work as a team, though it sacrifices its story’s tie-in elements. Given how the issue ends, Union Jack’s days of being a superhero team leader aren’t over yet.