Things are getting intense. The Red Brigade has been called in to deal with a huge problem – an English spy and his neighbor Toyo Harada. So both Ninjak and Harada are arguably the two most dangerous men in the Valiant universe. A martial arts expert who has been taught by the Undying Monk Colin King (AKA Ninjak) has skills that have not only kept him alive but self-aware. Harada’s power and abilities, as being the most powerful psiot goes without saying. His mind enables him to realize that the reality he’s currently living isn’t true. Together these men know they have a finite amount of time to figure out how to get their world back.
In this Russian-controlled Earth, Abram Adams is the key to undoing what’s happened. To unlock his mind is a dangerous undertaking. After all, you don’t want to turn him into a vegetable. Still, you need for him to hurry, to realize that either Myshka or Kazmir are the real threats since they like Adams are able to bend time and space. This trio was jettisoned into the far reaches of space to win the space race. It was during the cold war and history is in place. These three people returned to earth. Damaged and broken with years of their lives lost, and family long dead Abrams and Myshka somehow came out of their experiences better than when they left the earth. On the other hand, Kazmir returned bitter and angry. Out of there is the possibility that he has rearranged the world where Russia won everything. But if Kazmir is behind this, then why not have statues of himself everywhere? Why isn’t he glorifying in his victory? Why is he so afraid of Abrams that he keeps him locked in a sanitarium? Why doesn’t he just kill him?
In issue two of ‘Divinity III: Stalinverse’ Matt Kindt is playing the long game. Using the traditional history of the characters in Valiant he is able to create a narrative that asks the ultimate question – what would you do if your world was as you knew it and you were one of a very few who knew the truth? For Ninjak and Harada the answer is simple. Perhaps the world is not to your particular liking. You hate your job, your entire life has been burned down to the ground, the world literally doesn’t understand you. All these things may be true, but it’s your world. You still have choices. If you hate your job, quit. If the world doesn’t understand you, who cares. Even for Bloodshot, the worst of his life is still better than mindlessly serving the motherland. Kindt seems to want his readers to get a deeper understanding of themselves, particularly the truths they are willing to live with. In the Stalinverse there is no choice. It’s a planet ruled by fear and intense violence – well-drawn violence, but horrific just the same. Essentially freedom to burn your own life down is infinitely better than having someone demand you do it for the love of made-up reality. One thing is certain whoever is behind this is able to manipulate beings who can warp reality. That is the person readers should fear the most.
Always thought-provoking, Kindt has a special way creating comradery in unlikely duos. And for these complex men, it can only get more intriguing. If nothing else you’ll want to know which body part Ninjak will find it necessary to use to get out of the Stalinverse.
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