ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Union,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Union #5 - But Why Tho?The Union issue #5 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Paul Grist, pencils by Andrea Di Vito, inks by Lebeau Underwood, colors by Nolan Woodard, and letters by VC’s Travis Lanham. The Empire Stone has been uncovered from its resting place inside the Tower of London. Doc Croc and his gang sought it for control, the Union sought to protect it, and out of nowhere, Steve Darwin, the tech billionaire holds it in the palm of his hand.

Previously, while awaiting to announce themselves to audiences across the Great British isles, Doc Croc hijacked the television broadcast and announced his plans to attack the members of the Union. While the team recognizes that the less than magnanimous Doctor is likely trying to make a play for the spoils hidden inside the Tower of London. After a one-sided battle in which the Doc and his team dismantle all those who oppose him, he is confronted with a horrible discovery the gem of power he seeks is gone.

The gem isn’t far, however, as it now lays in the palm of the unsuspecting billionaire and tech guru, Steve Darwin. Now the team must put aside their difference and come together to overcome an overpowered Steve Darwin, while avoiding Doc Croc and his team of villains.

I really wanted to like this series, given this takes place on home soil for me, however, it just lacked conviction in the story. Grist pulls the right elements together, but then the practical application just never really sticks. The overarching layout is one of a team dynamic that’s been done so many times and thus feels quite derivative. While I am a sucker for an underdog story, this just felt too vanilla. I wanted to feel the consequences of the choices these characters made, or learn more about their stories. Again, the elements were there, but it was all quite safe. It’s a fine series. It was enjoyable, but fairly average, which is a shame.

The visuals from Di Vito, and Underwood were solid. Snakes spends a large chunk of time without his top on, which is a bizarre thing to look at given his physical make up. And hats off to the artists for drawing out all those snakes. Also, a lot of care and time went into the facial hair designs of Darwin and Bulldog.

While on the topic of Bulldog; I’m not a fan of that suit design. The name I get, something that represents the English nature, and symbology from the beloved dog. The suit, however, felt lazy and very cringey to me as an Englishman by just essentially wrapping him in an English flag and calling it a day.

The colors and lettering from Woodard and Lanham were solid. However, there’s not much that could have been done from their point of view that maybe would have raised the stock of this series, and issue.

Overall, the premier of Britain’s newest superhero team was an interesting premise. Sadly though, the series plot and the development of the characters just never felt like they resonated. Generally, it just felt very derivative of many other team-up stories, but without any big wow factor. As a Brit myself, I was excited about this series, but all in all, it was a very average read.

The Union issue #5 is available wherever comics are sold on May 5th.

The Union Issue #5
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TL;DR

Overall, the premier of Britain’s newest superhero team was an interesting premise. Sadly though, the series plot, and the development of the characters just never felt like they resonated. Generally, it just felt very derivative of many other team up stories, but without any big wow factor. As a Brit myself I was excited for this series, all in all it was a very average read.