By Matt Kindt & Trevor Hairsine
This week, Matt Kindt brings his Divinity series to an emotionally satisfying conclusion. For the past three issues, readers have followed Abram Adams on his journey from aspiring Soviet cosmonaut to deep space explorer to cosmic powerful entity. He has traveled to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, where he came face-to-face with an anomaly that killed his two crewmates, while leaving him with fantastical powers. Feeling a new purpose, Abram returned to Earth, where he hoped to seed new hope for both himself and others.
Abram tried to build a new home for himself in the Australian Outback, only to find that his newfound peace could not last for long. Followers soon drifted into his orbit, attracted by his miraculous powers and compassionate nature. Abram only wishes to build what is good, fulfilling people’s innermost wishes. For himself, he reaches through time in an attempt to reunite with the love of his life and their daughter, who he never knew. Abram learns, though, that good intentions are rarely enough.
Continue reading Advance Review of Divinity #4
By Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine & Ryan Winn
Matt Kindt has demonstrated an affinity for Ninjak ever since he started writing the character as part of Unity. This impression has only grown stronger with Kindt’s excellent Ninjak solo series. This natural knack for the character, continues to be on display with The Fall of Ninjak. Tying into Valiant’s current Book of Death event, this one-shot purports to reveal the last events of Ninjak’s life. Kindt’s story does contain some of the fun “I can do anything” moments that these type of tales often entail, yet he roots it firmly in both the present and future Valiant Universe. Hence he creates a flash forward issue with stakes that truly matter.
Continue reading Review of Book of Death: The Fall of Ninjak #1
by Matt Kindt & Pere Perez
Coming off a strong arc featuring Unity vs the United, Kindt switches gears for this issue and steps aside from complicated team dynamics to focus solely on Ninjak. During the events of last issue, Ninjak received some serious injuries as a result of almost getting caught in a fiery explosion. #15 opens with him limping back to his home, barely able to activate the medical treatment program before passing out. Kindt does not portray a hero instantly recovered from his wounds, instead showing a gradual healing.
Also, not all the wounds are strictly physical. Through the issue, Perez cleverly inter-cuts panels of Unity’s last mission. These panels offer only partial views of the confusion of combat, giving a visual representation to the trauma flowing through Ninjak. He keeps trying to block it off, let himself disconnect from his life outside his home, yet it keeps slipping back inside. He is never allowed to simply rest. Not even after he dismisses all the financial suitors and personal assistants. His handler in British Intelligence, Neville, calls swearing that if there was anyone else he could give this assignment to he would, but, well, you know the drill . . .
And so, Ninjak returns to the field for a routine seduce target and swipe intel gig. Kindt uses the situation to delve into Ninjak’s thoughts, his reflections that the key to success is not tricking the mark into believing you, but fooling yourself into buying your own lies. Ninjak is an individual who has built multiple layers of protection around him, which are not simply physical. His mind is full of barriers, keeping the various segments more or less compartmentalized. Part of him might long for a spate of R & R, yet another part of him knows better, realizing that nothing compares to the thrill of the hunt. Kindt has commented in the past that Ninjak is his favorite member of Unity and it shows in this issue. It’s a great piece of character work which not only fits well into the ongoing story of Unity, but bodes well for Kindt’s forthcoming Ninjak solo series.
Matt Kindt is a multi-talented creator. He is the author and illustrator of the superb Dark Horse series Mind MGMT, as well as original graphic novels such as Super Spy, Revolver and Red Handed. Last year he assumed writing duties on such high profile DC/Marvel properties as Justice League America and Spider-Man: Marvel Knights. He also writes Valiant’s stellar Unity series, and has a Star Wars title coming out this spring. Recently, he kindly took the time to answer a few of my questions about his work.
“Every day each of us takes the gifts we’ve been given and we try to do the best we can to make our neighbors’ lives just a little bit better. It’s the only point to being human I’ve ever found.” A noble sentiment, right? It appeals to our better natures through its simplicity. We change the world through our little actions, perhaps nothing more than doing a favor for a roommate. It is the day to day that makes a difference. True, there are others who have more power, greater responsibility. Yet, all of their obligations may be boiled down to the same impulse: to use the opportunities available to leave the world a better place.
Another pull list playlist guys now with 200% more R&B, 100% more shoegaze and 100% shoegaze death metal. I’ve got some curve balls here but bear with me. Comics are Thor, Miracleman, Alex and Ada, Coffin Hill, Red Rover Charlie, Coffin Hill, Daredevil and Archer and Armstrong. Cosmo also comes back because he has better taste in music then I do.
Rarely is there anything as simple as black and white villainy. As I have touched upon previously, the relationships between heroes and villains are complex, filled with nuances of motivation. What starts out as a noble quest can turn destructive, as well as vice versa. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” as goes a saying which was repeatedly on my mind while reading Unity #1.
This new Valiant series is the result of plotlines reaching back nearly a year, if not longer. Aric of Dacia, Fifth-Century Visigoth warrior, wields an alien armor of immense power. Originally taken captive by The Vine, an alien race who harvests captive labor from various worlds, he freed himself through bonding with this alien artifact. Traveling to the home world of The Vine, Aric liberated what remained of his people, and piloted them back to Earth. Upon arrival, he declares himself the rightful heir to his uncle’s throne and proclaims a new kingdom of Dacia.