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Union is back with an ongoing series after a terrific and surprisingly human mini-series by co-creator Michael Heisler and artist Mark Texeira.
Will this inter-dimensional alien be as interesting without his introductory mystery and with the much more polished art of Ryan Benjamin?
To answer the latter half of that question, I’ll direct you at the cover over there to the left.
That is a glorious superhero cover, and it’s not too different from the quality of the interiors of these three issues. Ryan Benjamin was okay on 1994’s Union #0, but that issue was so packed with plot there wasn’t much room for Benjamin to stretch out and tell a story with his pencils.
He’s fantastic here with more space in the narrative and a bright, primary color superhero color palette from Steve Buccellato and Wendy Fouts. His Ohmen is large and well-muscled, but not so much that Benjamin can’t make an extreme caricature out of his foil Crusade in the opening issue.
With less exposition about Ohmen’s background to work through, Michael Heisler delivers three strong issues of WildStorm’s most straight forward superhero tale yet. It’s puzzling that he hasn’t been tapped by Lee and Choi to script any other series. Ohmen comes off as a very serious puppy dog, obsessed with doing right so much that he cannot help but get involved in every conflict in earshot.
Heisler continues to impress with his grounded take on Ohmen’s companion Jill Munroe, a regular women unintentionally wrapped up in superhero drama. Despite feeling faithful to Ohmen, she’s conflicted about repeatedly putting her life on hold for him.
But why should she be putting her life on hold? Ohmen moves them to New York and has some designs on adventuring with Stormwatch inspired by Battalion’s recent hero’s death, but that’s not a solid goal (nor is it a business plan).
Heisler does a clever thing in issue #1, confronting Ohmen with another stranger-from-a-strange-world in the Liefeld-esque Jim Lee creation Crusade. Ohmen is like an adolescent that grows up fast when they have to take care of a younger sibling in trying to wrangle the holy space knight, seeming to sheepishly realize how much of a handful he was just a few months before.
They briefly tangle with the egg-headed Mnemo from the mini-series, but the villain is less the focus than Ohmen’s interaction with Crusade and old friend Serren. He just as easily flips back to puppy mode beside a veteran hero like Savage Dragon in issue #3.
There are two stories you can read to get ready for this run – Union’s tangle with an insane Supreme in Supreme #14, and Crusade’s brief introduction from WildStorm Rarities.
Want a recap? Read on for the details of Union’s first ongoing adventures. Here’s the schedule for the rest of this month’s WildStorm re-read. Later today, I’ll take a quick jaunt through Gen13 #0-1, then we’ll read Team 7: Objective Hell tomorrow before wrapping up with WildStorm Rising on Wednesday.
Need the issues? These issues have never before been collected! For single issues – try eBay (#1-3) or Amazon (#1, 2, 3). Since the prior Union series hit these same issue numbers, be sure to match your purchase to the cover images in this post. You can also pick up Supreme #14 (eBay / Amazon). The Crusade story originally appeared in the Killer Instinct Tourbook and is reprinted in WildStorm Rarities (eBay / Amazon), a perfect-bound book with a spine. [Read more…] about From The Beginning: WildStorm Universe – Union (1995) #1-3