Writer: Paul Grist
Artist: Andrea Di Vito
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 13, 2021
The Union #2 picks up immediately after the events of The Union #1 with the team fighting with the King In Black’s invading symbiotes. Brittania is dead, and the newly formed team is barely hanging on to stay alive. When the symbiote goop possesses The Choir, it’s up to Union Jack, Kelpie and Snakes to get her back. Will The Choir survive? Will the Union survive? Let’s find out
Was It Good?
It was decent. It didn’t blow me away, but it was much cleaner and easier to follow than the first issue, so it’s a marked improvement.
The art is very sharp, and the art team makes great use of interesting camera angles. The lettering is good, especially when it comes to the symbiote voice on a black background. And the colors do an excellent job of capturing the dusk-like tints of a world quickly descending into symbiote-enshrouded twilight.
Short Story Long
We begin with a flashback scene where a woman named Skreem is on the run from the police. She’s rescued from arrest by Brittania, and it’s implied Skreem is really The Choir.
Flash forward to now, and we’re in the middle of the cliffhanger battle from the end of issue #1, right after Brittania is killed by a symbiote dragon. The surviving team members hack, punch and slash their way through the police they were training with on the island who’ve now been taken over by the symbiote goop.
Grist does a much better job in this early part of the book giving us information about these relatively new characters and a quick blurb on their abilities. That information was a little too difficult to tease out in the first issue, and therefore another gold star for continuous improvement.
It appears the symbiotes are hyper focused on getting to The Choir, presumably to take control of her sonic scream powers. The team tries to prevent her capture, and we get a nice BOOM! panel where The Choir lets loose and knocks everyone back and out, including Union Jack.
Jack wakes up in pitch darkness, thinking it’s nighttime, but we soon discover (if you’ve been keeping up with King In Black) the world has been engulfed in a giant symbiote goop shield. The team regroups to discover The Choir is gone. Jack asks why he and the others weren’t taken. Kelpie and Snakes surmise they weren’t possessed because their non-human forms are not compatible with symbiote goop, and they didn’t take Jack because he’s just a useless human.
I’m going to call shenanigans on Grist’s explanation here. Through all the other tie-ins we’ve seen the symbiotes possess all manner of superpowered beings that are not what you would call human. We’ll go with it for the story but this explanation doesn’t hold water.
The MP overseeing the training informs the team the symbiotes are likely headed for the nearest populated area to infect more people, and they have a 30-minute head start. Kelpie, in a fascinating use of water powers, forms a stable water wave to transport the team to the new location for round two.
Before they charge in for battle Union Jack reviews video footage of the first fight and sees that possibly, maybe the symbiotes are susceptible to electricity. The team charges in and picks up hacking and slashing from the last battle. Realizing they’re outnumbered, Union Jack asks Kelpie to create a distraction to get closer to The Choir. Kelpie generates a tidal wave from the nearby shore to knock everyone down.
TheChoir/Knull takes a child hostage and Union Jack tries to get through to her. While The Choir/Knull is distracted, the MP rigs a nearby generator to shunt through the sword Union Jack tossed in their direction. Still standing in ankle deep water, the MP tosses the wired sword back and Jack electrocutes everyone in a short radius, frying off the symbiote goop and freeing The Choir.
After the battle and ensuring all the nearby civilians are safe, the team tells Union Jack they’re disbanding and going their separate ways. They explain the only joined to follow Brittania’s lead, and now that she’s dead, they have no desire to fight the good fight. Once the team members have gone, the MP explains Union Jack is the new leader per the contract he signed and he has until the end of the month to get the team back together.
Overall, not bad. It’s a quick read that’s mostly just a battle broken up into a Part A and a Part B. Besides the wonky explanation of why the other team members weren’t possessed, the story made sense and it’s a fun little popcorn issue.
The Union #2 improves significantly over issue #1 by giving the readers a clean, easy-to-follow story that’s almost entirely one big fight scene. The art looks great, the battles were energetic, and the pacing was very good. Some of the science behind the final fight was a little too convenient, but overall, the issue told the story it needed to tell and laid the groundwork for the next issue.