Spinning out of the origin story from Solar, Man of the Atom – perhaps the best actual science fiction ever in a superhero title – one reality’s Erica Pierce kills her counterpart in another, setting off a chase that leads to the Lost Land, which she is worshipped as Mothergod. The heroes of the Valiant universe are gathered for the first time to fight her and her forces the everything the then-young company had been doing up to that point came together in the Unity event.

With Jim Shooter’s story and Barry Windsor-Smith’s art, Unity #0 was the perfect way to kick off the 18-part storyline. It began with this issue, a giveaway comic, which in turn began with a striking BWS cover.

X-O Manowar, Magnus, and Solar are front and center, ringed by Rai, Armstrong, Archer, Eternal Warrior, Shadowman, and the Harbinger kids, all illustrated with typical BWS style and flair. The piece was beautifully colored by JayJay Jackson.

As a free comic with a superb, intriguing story, interior art equal to the task, wrapped in this cover, it’s hard to think of a better way to start a crossover event.

The original Valiant gambled correctly on this series. This comic was a giveaway that quickly introduces the dangerous convergence of the company’s contemporary and 4000 A.D. timelines in a mysterious realm outside of time. It brought together characters that normal would not have interacted, and it did an excellent job of setting the stage and making sure readers would want to come back for more.

The issue was produced in the standard blue logo and a special red logo variant.

- J.C. Vaughn