Divinity III: Stalinverse #1
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Trevor Hairsine
Colorist: David Baron
Cover: Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic
Divinity has been one hell of an epic sci-fi series that has blown right past expectations and with this third installment, Stalinverse is poised to go even further. Since this is the third entry of the series it might not be the right spot to jump in for a new reader however, the creative team does attempt to make it as comfortable as possible with a timeline of how things came to be after the fallout from Divinity II. Once you’re caught up is when Kindt throws you into this new world and begins to widen the scope of what has happened.
The Soviet Union is not only a world power in the very literal sense here but also has put the hammer and sickle on the galaxy with such loyal heavyweights as X-O Manowar and Myshka wielding her god-like abilities it’s only natural. But Kindt’s story begins on Earth where we see that there is unrest and those who are willing to fight against the current status quo. Here is where we meet the Stalinverse versions of classic Valiant characters and these introductions do feel like you’re meeting them for the first time. Kindt takes what we’ve become used to and then twists their character traits just enough to hit the sweet spots and they fit perfectly here. However, it’s when we see there is more to Ninjak’s motives that events hit another level of “peak geek” and plenty of questions start popping up. Sure these questions will be answered in future issues but
Once again, Divinity III continues to be one of the best looking books over the past few years because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Trevor Hairsine, David Baron, and Ryan Winn are killing it once again so if you’ve already read Divinity I and II then you already know what to expect. Here the visuals really help put over the changes Stalinverse has brought and the first very noticeable one is with Bloodshot. Hairsine draws a more muscular version here with a full beard kind of making him look like Zangief’s (from Street Fighter II fame) little brother. Another thing that sells it all is the body language where he seems like he’s ready to lay a beat down on anyone at any given moment. There’s a lack of humanity here but it’s still a very cool version of the character. The exchange between Colin King (Ninjak) and Aric (X-O Manowar) is one of the most chilling and here is where art syncs up with the script almost perfectly. The use of shadows and expression on Aric’s face as he answers reveal a level of commitment and loyalty not seen in the previous two. Baron also makes sure that Colin has something purple around which is a nice and subtle touch that calls back to his costume. There’s also a shot of the four new characters that this series will introduce and they’ve got some crazy character designs!
Divinity III has everything necessary to deem it worthy of picking up if you’ve checked out the previous books. The writing and art hit just as hard as in the beginning and with these twists it’s going to be interesting to see how Kindt resolves everything and the shockwaves that will flow through the Valiant Universe.