The Ninjabot

Advance Review: Divinity #1

Posted on February 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm by Tyler Waterman

DIVINITY_001_COVER-A_DJURDJEVIC

Advance Review: Divinity #1

Written By: Matt Kindt
Pencils By: Trevor Hairsine
Colors By: David Baron
Inks By: Ryan Winn
Letters By: Dave Lanphear

Review By: Tyler Waterman

Divinity #1 is a perfect example of how a reader’s perception can make or break a story.

I always read anything I’m going to review twice in one sitting, but even if that wasn’t standard practice for me, it would have happened with this issue nonetheless. I say that because I spent the majority of my first read-through being somewhat frustrated by the narration. Who was this that was bringing me through the life of Abram Adams? It was clearly not the standard phantom narration that usually accompanies a comic, which left me feeling like this character’s insight into the mind of the man he was following was far too specific, too personal. While this might sound like nitpicking, this is Divinity #1, the book that Valiant itself called “the most important Valiant debut of 2015.” I couldn’t help but expect perfection.

And so I kept reading, rushing to judgement all the way to the end, when I suddenly discovered who it was that had been taking me through the story. That was also the point where I realized I was an idiot.

Hindsight being what it is, I don’t know what I was thinking by doubting Matt Kindt! Maybe it’s because so few things live up to their hype nowadays; my inner cynic now controls my expectations, an unconscious shield against disappointment. Whatever the reason, my second time through Divinity #1 was without pretense, and became the immensely enjoyable experience the first read should have been, if I had let it be. What’s more, Kindt takes the extremely familiar themes of secret space missions and Cold War tensions and weaves them into a story where they both feel like entirely new concepts, and that speaks to Kindt’s enormous talent.

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Secret space missions and I go waaaay back… but suddenly I feel like I’m meeting an old friend for the first time.

My only wish was that we’d gotten a bit more of where we’re headed, as opposed to where we’ve been. Divinity is a four-issue miniseries, so I understand that Kindt was getting the origin story established for us as quickly as possible. That being said, the issue is heavy with flashbacks, which wouldn’t normally feel like such a drag, except I’m dying to see Divinity’s impact on the current Valiant Universe, and can’t deny that’s what I want most from this series. However, just so I’m clear, this complaint is about as mild as they come. This is the start of a fantastic story, and even that one “drawback” really just means I’m even more likely to enjoy the remaining three issues, thanks to that being covered by the first.

When it comes to the art, I’ll admit there were a few inconsistencies, such as Adams’ head seeming to grow at an alarming rate during his medical exam. However, make no mistake; overall, Trevor Hairsine’s art is a perfect compliment to the tone of series. His gritty and realistic style pairs perfectly with a story whose weight is almost palpable. This is one of those books that you know is important, and you want the art to convey that, and Hairsine never fails to do exactly that. It’s also a testament to his skill that he makes that suit look so cool. Let’s face it, the design is essentially the lovechild of OMAC and Omega Red, but in Hairsine’s hands it’s downright epic. David Baron’s colors and Ryan Winn’s inks work just as perfectly towards the same goal, and together all three have crafted a book with a look that’s genuinely unique and fresh.

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There is no reason this should look cool… but it sure as hell does!

I think that’s the most important thing you should take away from any review about Divinity: this book is different. It takes the familiar and makes it new, and turns styles you know you’ve seen before into something you feel you’ve just laid eyes on for the first time. The first time I read Divinity #1, I made the mistake of comparing it to my assumptions, and that nearly made me miss the incomparable comic that was right in front of my face the whole time. Learn from my mistake, and leave your preconceptions at the door.

The word is that Divinity will change the Valiant Universe forever. We don’t know yet just how, but after Divinity #1, one thing is clear; we’re all going to have a blast finding out.

Writing: 9 out of 10
Art: 9 out of 10
Presentation: 10 out of 10

Readability: Accessible to all readers, even those unfamiliar with the Valiant Universe

Overall Score: 9 out of 10

Divinity #1 releases February 11th, 2015, and is available digitally through comiXology or in print at a fine comic retailer near you.

Geek Legacy’s comic review system is based on three criteria. Both the writing and art each receive scores on a 1-10 scale. For writing, a 10 is the stuff of legends, while a 1 is legendarily bad. For art, a 10 is almost too beautiful to look at, while a 1 is also hard to look at, but not in a good way. Presentation refers to inks, lettering and layout, and is also graded on a 1-10 scale. Readability reflects how accessible it is to fans both new and old, and is strictly for reader awareness; it does not factor into the final score.

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