Seraph’s Sanctions: DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE #1

Writer: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Hairsine & Ryan Winn
Colors: David Baron
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Publisher: VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT (December 2016)



The Breakdown:
It’s a bold new world we are living in as we see how the Soviet Union were able to build their iron fist around the world and see how the world is now in the Soviet Territories within the United States. Director Colin King interviews members of The Politburo as he interviews some very familiar characters who are much different. As we go along and meet the icons of the Valiant Universe, you will see so very much has changed. And only one man might hold the key to getting the Valiant Universe as he was … but his name is not Abram.


The Bad:
Divinity? Bad? That does not compute.

The Moment of the Issue:

Um …. that was really, really messed up what happened when Pete decided to use his abilities in order to find traitors … and how he dealt with them is a lot worse.


The Good:

WOW! This book was kinda of amazing. Hairsine, Winn and Baron once again create masterful sequential art as they kick off Divinity III in this new Valiant Universe with a bang. Hairsine’s trade mark edgy work alongside Winn’s inks looks vibrant as ever under Baron’s colors. There’s definitely a refinement with the work that readers can see by just the entrance of Komandar Bloodshot in Los Angeles. Hairsine and Winn continue to escalate their panel work with each Divinity series. Every series starts a bit bigger than the last then stretches outward from there. This time, Hairsine and Winn produce striking like work that is akin to the cinematic/big budget film in comics look, but with their very own twist and it works … EXTREMELY WELL. The quality of the art has continued to grow and this definitely looks and feels like the work of their lives here. There’s always such great line work from them, but there’s just more energy to it then before than is read to cuddle readers and force their eyes to be glued upon every last panel. The line work presents solid, almost fluid action and deep emotion. Expressions are the characters are very clear and Everyone looks nice and distinct. Hairsine,  Winn and Baron building this Valiant Universe with a flair that no reader can deny as they look at it, much like Roger Cruz did back in the 90s with the landmark Age of Apocalypse event in Marvel back then. It is a first look and … as crucial as it is … they knock it out of the park.

Meanwhile, Kindt is brilliant with this first issue. The first page has a faux timeline of the new Valiant Universe, which is now placing the world firmly in Soviet Union control. And Kindt makes the opening issue captivating. We visit many places in the world while allowing a strong narrative to guide readers throughout it. What is great and yet surprising is the fact that said narrative is coming from a particular Valiant hero … and it is NOT Abram. To say that this twist was interesting is an understatement. Knowing Kindt, there are going to be threads that tie as to why our one hero has NOT lost his memory of the Valiant Universe as it should be.  The ongoing narrative was a great gatekeeper for readers to learn more of this new universe and see how much their favorite Valiant heroes have changed. It is a radically different world and Kindt doesn’t mind showing some of the charges, but not spelling them all out. Readers really get to learn as our narrator shows us this new universe. The dialogue is smart and the overall story is grand, yet very accessible for readers. Shadowman. X-O Manowar, Bloodshot. Ninjak. The Renegades. Kindt makes their shifts very apparent, yet natural in most ways, giving the timeline we are presented on the first page. Definitely a great kick off.

The Verdict:

Divinity III: Stalinverse # 1 is a wild, breath-taking kick off to the new miniseries. Kindt builds upon the previous miniseries ever so slightly while presenting a whole new universe to readers; writing an issue that both new and old readers can enjoy. The art is superb by Hairsine, Winn and Baron as they give us a Soviet controlled United States with one lone man lost in a world that is wrong. There’s plenty for readers to look at and enjoy as the issue sets up the rest of the series as well as captivate readers with its mysteries and the heroes in a universe gone mad. Divinity III: Stalinverse # 1 is a damn near perfect first comic with action, character development, suspense, mystery and creativity that will hold on to you from its opening words to the last line on the page.