No matter what alternate reality you find yourself in hate cannot win. Neither can blind loyalty. That’s what makes the series of Divinity III comics so compelling. They have the ability to make you believe this is how the world has always been. For longtime fans of X-O Manowar you cannot imagine Aric of Dacia serving anyone. After being enslaved by the alien race known as the Vine and bonding with its sentient armor to become X-O Manowar Aric has found the value in working with others. Instead in ‘Divinity III: Aric Son of the Revolution’ he serves the motherland. The problem is this reality’s motherland is using the Valiant universe’s heroes to commit a series of atrocities.
The brainwashing that has made Aric seemingly go against everything he believes in makes this comic a must read. He’s so resolute in defending his adopted home. Where is this fervor coming from? Brainwashing is one thing, but killing as the only solution is not what this man is about. Perhaps it’s because he is the only hero with living family ties. Still having an anchor should shake him out of this mind-bending nightmare. As a reader you want to know how this is working. Is there a psiot in the basement controlling these realities? As a defender of what’s best to do Aric does several questionable things to keep the status quo. And everything seems to lead to the Deadside. With this completely different personality there are still small holes that show hope. At one point Aric makes a decision that hints at the man the audience knows him to be. He shows compassion and pauses to listen. In this fleeting moment you want him to have more time to figure things out. It’s terrifying to think that someone can get inside your head and make you go against the basic principles you’ve lived your life on. And with what’s happening in ‘Son of the Revolution’ you have to find out what writer Joe Harris is going to come up with next.
Further building of this world is the story of ‘Kostiy the Deathless’ which tells the legend of the ever living warrior. Every country has its folklore and this new reality is no different. Written by Matt Kindt it weaves this new world with myth. As a reader you’re beginning to believe that this is the real world and the other Valiant comics are the alternate reality. Myths and folklore, many times represent a culture and teaches lessons. Don’t stray from the path is the main message in ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’ In that fairytale there’s bestiality, graphic violence and child endangerment. For Kostiy it’s even worse. The lesson here is one where your life is full of hardship and there’s nothing you can do about it. At some point you will be in a cage, controlled by people who don’t care how they use you. Delving into this comic will if nothing else remind you that those things that go bump in the night may just be real.
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