|Publication date||August – September 1992|
The Unity story comprises eighteen issues and nine comic book series, published by Valiant during August and September 1992. It tells of Erica Pierce, the Mothergod, trying to rewrite reality and restore her original universe. The story has strong time travel and alternate timeline themes.
Unity is set in the Lost Land from the comic book Turok, a place in the middle of the time stream where time moves very slowly. As a result, it is still in the age of dinosaurs. When Mothergod arrives there, she begins constructing the Unity tower, with which she intends to destroy the universe.
The title, Unity, is also being used for a new comic series set to launch in November 2013, featuring Toyo Harada, Livewire, Ninjak, and the Eternal Warrior teaming up to battle against the X-O Manowar after he takes over Romania for the Visigoths.
Original story sequence
The sequence of the original Unity chapters is as follows:
- Unity #0 (given away for free)
- Eternal Warrior #1
- Archer & Armstrong #1
- Magnus, Robot Fighter #15
- X-O Manowar #7
- Shadowman #4
- Rai #6
- Harbinger #8
- Solar, Man of the Atom #12
- Eternal Warrior #2
- Archer & Armstrong #2
- Magnus #16
- X-O Manowar #8
- Shadowman #5
- Rai #7
- Harbinger #9
- Solar, Man of the Atom #13
- Unity #1
Unity #0 features a cover by Barry Windsor-Smith. The next eight books, released in August 1992, all feature cover art by Frank Miller and when combined form one large image. The second month of Unity books, released in September 1992, feature cover art by Walt Simonson and also form one large image when combined.
Unity officially began with Unity issue #0, cover dated August 1992. Any Valiant comic with a cover date before then is considered "pre-Unity". Due to the success of the Unity storyline, Valiant comics that were pre-Unity became harder to find as people began searching for the issues they'd missed. The demand drove the prices of these comics up significantly, with some issues of pre-Unity comics commanding $100 or more in the marketplace.
Prelude to Unity
3988 A.D. – Erica Pierce discovers the Lost Land, a perfect base from which to launch Unity.
April 2, 3988 – Ana Kawainui, a geomancer, seeks out Roland Tate, her chosen successor.
3988–4001 – Erica establishes the foundation and power sources for her San Gabriel Citadel.
3997 – Erica's men in the Lost Land build a speakeasy to help ease the stress of their work. Smuggling to and from the complex begins.
4000 – Erica's son, Prince Albert, discovers the speakeasy during a routine inspection and avails himself of its services.
August 5, 4001 – Erica transports her San Gabriel Citadel to the Lost land.
The call to arms
April 4, 1992 – Solar and Geoff McHenry, a young geomancer, find Erica Pierce's remains. Geoff learns of the existence of the "other" Erica, and he and Solar leave for the Lost Land.
August 5, 4001 – Rokland Tate ("Rokkie") finds Gilad, the Eternal Warrior. Gil has been psycho-probed, but with Rokkie's help manages to remember who he is. His memories of certain events remain sketchy. Rokkie and Gil seek out Rai and convince him to accompany them, then seek out Magnus. After lending a well-timed hand, they explain the situation and together race to the doorway to the Lost Land that Magnus used several months earlier.
April 4, 1992 – Shadowman is contacted by a former pupil of the last geomancer. He has discerned that a huge conflict is brewing and Shadowman is asked to help. Shadowman agrees and enters the Lost Land through a doorway under a tree in the Louisiana bayou. Geoff and Solar decide to separate. Geoff reappears in the real world with a portion of Solar's power. Using this power, he travels to find people who can help in the coming battle. He finds the Harbinger kids and recruits them. Together, they locate Aric (X-O Manowar). Aric agrees to come along. Geoff contacts the Gilad of 1992 and uses Solar's power to teleport him to them. Gilad, in turn, uses the power to locate his brother Aram (Armstrong) and recruits him and his new partner, Archer. Geoff creates a portal to the Lost Land.
Day 1 – Magnus, Rai and Gilad 4001 arrive. Erica, fearing Rai's power, attempts to force his retreat, threatening Japan if he does not withdraw. He refuses, and in 4001 Japan crashes from orbit into the Indian Ocean. Solar joins the 4001 team. Magnus and Rai recognize Solar, but this Solar (from 1992) does not know them. Rai sights the 1992 team and everyone meets, but Erica spots the teams and mounts an attack. The teams then split up.
While battling pteradons, X-O is attacked from behind and falls into a cell with slaves who are to be fed to the bionisaurs. Aric rescues them and proclaims himself their leader. They escape and head for the mountains. Shadowman arrives in the Lost land and incorrectly assumes that Solar is the threat. He meets and quickly befriends Elya, who takes him to the Central Tower. Archer, Armstrong and Gilad 1992 break off from the main group and begin attacking robots. Gilad and Archer and Armstrong are separated.
Solar Blasts his way through the Central Tower and confronts Erica one-on-one. Seeing the attack, Shadowman leaps to Erica's aid, nearly killing himself in the process. Erica uses the diversion to trap Solar in a wormhole. Sting can no longer sense Solar and assumes he is dead. Erica's counterattack drives back and scatters her enemies. Archer and Armstrong are captured by Section Prelate Rejj. Gilad 1992 and Geoff meet up with Gilad 4001. They set off to find their allies.
Day 2 – Kris informs Sting that she is pregnant. Sting decides to sit out the war for Kris' safety. Archer is questioned by Rejj, who is a devotee of Archer's philosophies. Armstrong escapes from Rejj by using natural camouflage. Geoff, Rai, Magnus and the two Gilads meet and regroup.
Day 3 – X-O and his new followers arrive in the mountains and set up camp in a series of caves.
Day 6 – An infatuated Elya searches the history archives for information on Shadowman.
Day 12 – Rai and Magnus attack the robot commlink sector of Erica's fortress. The attack fails, and they are forced to withdraw. Albert visits Bunsie in the infirmary and kills her.
Day 15 – Armstrong discovers the speakeasy, where he meets Prince Albert, and begins drinking heavily.
Day 16 – Rai goes on a solo mission to the fortress. Gilad 4001 and Magnus must race to save him. Albert prevents Archer's execution and returns his crossbow. He provides Archer and Armstrong an opportunity to kill Erica, which fails. X-O attacks the complex and accidentally gives Archer and Armstrong their chance to escape.
Day 17 – Erica dispatches Turok to kill Archer and Armstrong. However, Turok decides their cause is just and quits Erica's service.
Day 31 – Elya visits Shadowman in the medi-center.
Day 36 – Rai attempts a third solo attack on Erica's complex. This time he is severely injured and is saved only by the intervention of the resistance.
Day 40 – Rai awakens in the hastily constructed medi-center at the resistance headquarters. He immediately attempts to leave for another attack, but Magnus convinces Rai to fight alongside the resistance.
Day 45 – The Harbinger team discovers an abandoned building. Sting decides it will suffice as a hideout where they can wait out the end of the war in safety.
Day 60 – Shadowman is removed from the reconstruction vessel. Elya visits him again.
Day 91 – Magnus, Rai and Gilad 4001 stage an assault on Erica's complex. Shortly afterwards, Magnus comes to the Harbinger team and asks for Sting's help in an attack the next morning. Sting agrees, reluctantly. Sting discovers that Kris' baby is not his, but Torque's.
Day 92 – Enraged, Sting attacks the complex alone. Erica and Sting battle, and only a last minute appearance of X-O and the others saves his life. Erica withdraws.
Day 101 – Shadowman is discharged from the medi-center, into Elya's custody.
Day 105 – Sting and Rai mount an attack on Erica's complex, but are forced to retreat when Sting is injured.
Day 150 – X-O and his men attack Erica's complex and capture a power converter. He plans to ransom it back, but Magnus and Rai convince him to destroy it.
Day 153 – Eriet[clarification needed] off to the rescue Geoff, leaving behind Armstrong to deliver Kris' baby. The two Gilads break into the control center to save Geoff. Erica unleashes an energy bolt, seemingly killing him. Back at the resistance headquarters, Kris has gone into labor, and the Gilads, assuming their mission has failed, are forced to retreat.
Magnus is caught under a collapsing support column and presumed killed, but he survives and manages to make his way through the citadel without a fight. Along the way he finds Geoff, who escaped Erica's blast through a secret door. Geoff has learned that Solar is not dead, seeing Albert murder a bum in the speakeasy. Shadowman learns the truth about Unity and drags Albert with him to confront Erica at Ely prison bunker, leaving Rai to defend the entrance from reinforcements. When Erica appears, Rai fights a desperate last battle and dies.
Solar defeats Erica and traps her in the wormhole as Geoff convinces Kris to give him the baby. As the universe collapses around them, Erica's men try to flee, but the robots continue to fight. Shadowman finds Elya and together they try to return to 1992 via the portal through which he entered. Solar returns most of the people and creatures of the Lost Land to their respective times. Albert is killed by speakeasy bums. Shadowman escapes, but Elya is torn from his grasp by Solar's power. The rector becomes a black hole, which Solar is barely able to destroy.
3975 A.D. – Solar meets Kris' baby at the moment in time to which he sent him from the Lost Land and takes him to 1-A's secret base where he will grow up to become Magnus.
Unity 2000 is the name of an Acclaim mini-series, written by Jim Shooter and penciled by Jim Starlin, which was originally slated to run for six issues starting in 1999. This series was Shooter's first story with Valiant characters since 1992. The purpose of Unity 2000 was to tie together the story lines and characters from the original Valiant Universe (VH1, 1991–1996) to the characters and story lines from the Acclaim Comics Valiant Heroes characters (VH2, 1997–2000). Future Acclaim comics would continue where Unity 2000 ended, explaining the relationship between VH1, VH2, and future stories.
In Unity 2000, Shooter introduced another alternate universe, called VH-0 by fans. It was his vision of what the Valiant Universe would have been like if he had been allowed to stay with the company. According to Shooter's plot, at the end of the crossover, VH-0 was destroyed and most of its characters were killed. VH-1 and VH-2 fused together into a new universe. However, Acclaim continued to suffer losses on their video games while the series suffered a number of administrative problems (art return and payment issues) and were forced to cancel the series after only the third issue.
The series has been collected into a series of trade paperbacks:
- Unity Vol. 1: To Kill A King (collects Unity #1-4)
- Unity Vol. 2: Trapped By Webnet (collects Unity #5-7 and X-O Manowar #5)
- Unity Vol. 3: Armor Hunters (collects Unity #8-11)
- Unity Vol. 4: The United (collects Unity #12-14, 0 and Harbinger: Faith #0)
- Unity Vol. 5: Wrath of the Eternal Warrior (collects Unity #15-18)
- Smith, Andy (July 10, 2006). The VALIANT Comics F.A.Q.. Sequart.
- Unity at the Comic Book DB