Comics Features

REVIEW: Disunity #1

Good intentions don’t always end well. Occasionally, they may even destroy the world. That’s the case with John Connati, the rugged, ginger-bearded, hipster-esque physicist responsible for plunging Earth into an alien invaded hotbed of a daily planner level organized crime in Disunity. But he’ll be even more damned if he doesn’t figure out a way to save the world… again. At least he probably won’t make it worse?

Writers Ron Batchelor and Rem Field begin Jon’s journey in the year 2311, roaming around “The Cluster”, a city/refuge camp inhabited by every uncomfortable looking life form imaginable, where tentacles are the new beard. Naturally, all these different species of aliens don’t play nice together now that they’re trapped on Earth, thanks to John. Two hundreds years earlier, Earth’s population had grown too large, so John brought it upon himself to find more space. He discovered a wormhole capable of instantly relocating people, however, was not able to control where exactly it opened up. Its desired location happened to be Earth, making the wormhole merge planets together. Whoops. Now, after the fact, he’s still on a mission to right his wrongs and fix the world he inadvertently fucked.

The world set up in Disunity is perfectly captured in its illustrations. Batchelor, also acting as the illustrator, has put an incredible amount of detail into each panel. The background especially reflects the destruction the world has endured, with the walls of buildings tagged or looking as if someone literally threw a fist at it. Even the cracks on the sidewalk are so carefully crafted, and they never feel excessive. Another thing I especially appreciate with the illustrations is how no two creatures look alike. With all these planets merging, even extras off to the sidelines have their own distinguishing features.

One tidbit from the comic that I think will give the rest of the series a sense of foreboding is the unpredictability of the wormhole. It can strike whenever, and every time it does, it brings another round of chaos and destruction, as well as an entirely new population of alien creatures. I would have loved to have seen a planet merge with Earth. Unfortunately, I had to settle with John telling me about. At least it sounded cool, if not horribly problematic. 

With such a heavy premise and a lot of information to feed the audience right off the bat, it feels like the first issue of Disunity is too short. That summary above mostly took place on one page. It was a lot of page. The first issue is mostly an exposition issue, with not enough action taking place in John’s present. And he doesn’t like to talk about the past, or so he says.

Let’s talk about John, the hero. It took him two years to destroy Earth, and he’s spent the past two hundred trying to save it from itself. He’s failing miserably. But that doesn’t stop him from being hopped on optimism; he can turn it all around. John has also been gifted with some interesting abilities from opening the wormhole. His body is frozen in the time, unable to age or die from any sustained injury. That’s a interesting layer to the character, but there are some instances where that gets lost in translation. John gets jumped by the some street thugs, and he takes down a robot with one punch. I don’t care if he’s had two hundred years to get ripped, he does not have super strength. He is not taking down that robot in the backpack.

I’ll admit, it took me a couple more reads than I’d care to share before I thought I understood what was happening in the world of Disunity. So if you’re ready to truly invest yourself in science, an even more fucked than our Earth, and a pretty ginger as your tour guide, brace yourself, and get yourself over to Comixology to buy Disunity #1.

Willing to give Disunity a whirl? Grab your biggest black glasses and finger-less gloves a-la John and tell us what you think in the comments below or on Twitter!

About the author

Ariana Zink