United They Stand
Written by Chris R. Notarile
Art by Chris R. Notarile
Right off the bat, United They Stand is an ambitious undertaking. What helps is the short introduction in the beginning that lets the reader know that this is the continuation of another story. It helps that the creator included a QR code on the page that links back to the previous stories and characters otherwise one would get lost if they were just picking up this story to read outright. That can also be a liability if your purpose was to pick up something new just to read. It seems to rely on the premise that the person reading this book knows who the characters are ahead of time.
The masked killed returns and is on another rampage before he is interrupted by The Avenger. In the aftermath of their battle an investigation takes place that reunites the heroes as they confront another threat that has the power to destroy them all. Meanwhile, Faye has to deal with both the threat of the demon they face and her own family drama.
The first few pages of the book are framed really well, but as it progresses, the limitations of the medium take over. There’s a great passage in the manual “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” by Stan Lee and John Buscema. In that passage, it diagrams how exaggerated action should look in a comic. Any comic you look at shows the exaggerated movements of its characters in action. In essence, the rear up and the follow through of a punch have more visual impact that anything else. That’s missing in most of the action of United They Stand and it’s not the fault of anything but the medium chosen.
Many of the camera angles and panels are done very well and the story is compelling, but the visual moments that are supposed to attract the eye and move with the action aren’t there, especially in the fight scenes. United They Stand has a good story that’s hampered by going for a gimmick like live action photography because it doesn’t capture compelling visuals. It looks staged and that takes the reader out of enjoying the story.