Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review - Divinity II #1 (@ValiantComics)


"How would you like some warm food and a bed, little mouse?"

Despite the "end" of the Cold War, there are still tensions simmering between the US and Russia. It's an almost constant game of political brinkmanship between the two countries that would surely be tipped in favor of Russia if the events in Divinity II #1 from Valiant Entertainment come to pass. The issue is written by Matt Kindt, penciled by Trevor Hairsine, inked by Ryan Winn and colored by David Baron.

Long thought lost and erased from the history books, Abram Adams was the first to return from a dangerously advanced mission that sent three cosmonauts farther into space than anyone has gone before or since--crash-landing in the Australian Outback. The few that have been able to reach him believe him to be a deity. They say he can bend matter, space, and even time to his will. But, even with seemingly limitless power at his fingertips, he is concerned only with the secret love he hid away from his superiors and the unborn child he never had a chance to meet. Now, Miska, the female co-pilot of the group, has also returned to Earth…but, unlike Abram she had no secret family. Unlike Abram, she still believes in the Communist ideal. And, unlike Abram, she intends to play a very real role in the return of Soviet glory. Earth is about to meet a new god. And she’s a Communist. How long can it be before the nations of Earth bend before DIVINITY?

Where Divinity II #1 excels most is in Kindt's characterization of Miska. Miska was an orphan who was turned into a deadly entity in Cold War Russia and Kindt draws heavily on that background to make Miska so forceful in the present. She's written in stark contrast to Abram, as she doesn't seem to stray from the mission at all. Kindt does a fantastic job of going back and forth between present and past in Divinity II #1 to help bolster her story, giving the reader all they need to know as to why Miska is so headstrong. And even though the book is full of flashbacks, Kindt still manages to keep things moving along to a somewhat bold ending that definitely leaves the reader intrigued.

The moodiness of astronauts abandoned in space is captured brilliantly by Hairsine's linework. The planet the astronauts crashed on is illustrated with chilling detail that Hairsine uses to emphasize the completely foreign nature of the new world. Miska carries herself with a confident air that Hairsine illustrates well, as Miska carries herself as a proud child of Russia. Hairsine's panel approach is very refined as well, drawing the reader to very focused shots that help the book play out like a movie. Winn's inks and Baron's colors further the wonder of the planet, as the landscape is highlighted by bright, bold colors that pop of the page and contrast sharply with the starker colors depicting Cold War Russia.

Divinity II #1 is another great entry in the Valiant universe. Miska's story is very different than Abram's and the issue manages to feel like a completely new entity. Kindt's one of the hottest writers right now and his work in Divinity II #1 is another example of tight storytelling and great character crafting. Hairsine's pencils are clean and infuse the work with a sense of wonderment that one would expect to accompany a tale of venturing to the edges of space. Divinity II #1 is a solid book that fans of Divinity will appreciate for offering a new perspective to a familiar event and that fans of comics in general will appreciate as great storytelling.

Divinity II #1 is in stores now.

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