Apr 27 2015
In the first issue of Divinity, we are introduced to Abram Adams, able cosmonaut exiled to the farthest reaches of human comprehension, packed into the soviet technology of his homeland and jettisoned into the ether. The character of Abram/Divinity is fairly somber and practical, though there are hints of regret, with a much larger helping of puzzling science-fiction intrigue.
Now that we have arrived at issue #3 of Valiant’s expansive and gorgeous mystery superhero tale, we have departed substantially from the fabular grandiosity of issues 1 and 2. Yes, in this issue, there are superheroes, and X-O Manowar, Ninjak, and other scrappy reconfigured superpowered denizens of Valiant’s stable show up to bring Divinity home. And when he’s not Billy Pilgriming through time and space or granting visitors to his swirling eden their deepest desires like a benevolent god, Divinity is properly mired in his own past, his mistakes, and his deepest regrets. His enemies are within and without, and Kindt handily disposes of the traditional superhero battle here – it’s unusual and not what you expect.
Our initial impressions of the main character offer us an academically gifted, driven and intelligent overachiever, the prodigal adopted son of his appointed soviet home. And yet in issue #2, and primarily here, we learn of his regrets and imperfections. Why exactly is he granting wishes to visitors? What does he hope to achieve in his makeshift paradise, where your heart’s desire might be to live your life as a hawk in the forest, and he ensures you have the opportunity to live that out? What did he see out there at the farthest reaches of space, and were the answers he gleaned worth the exchange of his inquisitive humanity?
Matt Kindt’s series continues to pose substantial questions in a provocative story, matched with some excellent artwork. The art team designs something that feels grounded and real, even when the alien armor symbiotes and ninjas show up, even when we are floating in the hallucinogenic gelatinous edge of the universe. Adam/Divinity’s face speaks volumes, communicating the stoic resolution of a newfangled deity whose soul is sunken with the answers of the cosmos and the errs of a human. The art in this series merges well with the story, containing all the ornate majesty of Cassaday’s Planetary (but less groin-kicks).
One reason this series continues to be one of the greatest comics on the shelf is its strange, dream-like feel, matched with a very grounded peek into a new god’s head. The emotional arguments in the story are never cliché or reckless, and the backdrop of acid science is never exactly fully defined, leaving the reader unclear about where the limits of Divinity’s god-like powers lie.
With the next issue its last, the mystery feels as if it has barely unraveled, but Kindt isn’t usually one for cheap and quick answers. I strongly urge anyone looking for an excellent story you will find yourself re-reading with each new issue to catch up to the series for when it concludes next month.