Valiant’s latest, and perhaps most anticipated, series arrived in comic shops across the world yesterday. Titled Divinity, this prestige series catalogs the exploits of a Soviet cosmonaut who returns to the world after being lost in space. But his reappearance makes the world tremble, for this man returns with the powers of a deity.
The Valiant Next initiative has so far brought a number of successes, including The Valiant and Ivar, Timewalker. Divinity marks a new stage for Valiant, as this is the first series to be entirely based upon wholly original characters set within the Valiant Universe. Helmed by writer Matt Kindt and artist Trevor Hairsine, fans brought a lot of anticipation leading up to the release of this series.
Abram Adams was left on the steps of a USSR orphanage in 1945. As he grew, Abram showed proficiency in both the sciences and athletic trials, making him a prime candidate for a covert space program. The mission’s goal? Send a man to the edge of the galaxy utilizing cryogenics to slow his aging.
Abram was set to return a hero thirty years later…but instead he arrives on Earth in 2015, where he encounters an rock climber named David Camp. Yet Abram’s arrival does not go unnoticed, as the Australian government dispatches agents to assess this potential threat.
The most notable aspect of Divinity #1 is the manner in which the story is told. The nonlinear plot, mostly strung together with caption boxes elucidating Abram’s inner monologue, brings the reader back and forth throughout time. This shifting structure is reflected in the narration as well, with Kindt comparing the passage of time and the occurrence of events to pages in a book, flipped back and forth as memory and history demand.
Hairsine’s artwork enhances the story telling further. Such is the skill with character and panel placement that many scenes would flow just as well without the narration, a testament to the emotion and messages conveyed in the tight artwork. David Baron’s colors further augment this, with the moments of memory and hopelessness taking on duller tones, while key bright colors, especially Abram’s space suit, contrast into themes of hope and progress.
There are some areas, however, where the art falters. Hairsine has, without a doubt, improved drastically since his earlier work for Valiant in X-O Manowar and Eternal Warrior. However, his drawing of characters’ facial expressions are irregular and break up otherwise strong emotional beats. Much of this comes from the fact that characters’ eyes are sometimes set very far apart in their faces, making them appear overly alien.
Divinity #1 rides in as another solid launch from Valiant’s stable. This subtle comic will certainly leave questions on the table, but have readers clamoring for the next issue. There’s no doubt Kindt, Hairsine, and company are cooking up something special within this comic. Even for those unfamiliar with the Valiant Universe will find something intriguing and beautiful in this comic.
-novel story telling style
-strong artwork, especially the coloring
-characters’ faces look off in several scenes
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