When a book such as last years Divinity series receives numerous accolades, bringing out a sequel can be a risky proposition. Catching up with the two remaining cosmonauts, stranded on a planet in the far far reaches of space, writer Matt Kindt takes a more personal stance in this first issue that looks to build on the previous series.
Left behind by the now god-like Abram Adams, we get to see a life of hardships turned in challenges, from potential love turned into scientific abuse in the form of little Myshka, Valetina Volkov. All the while, Valetina remains strong and fiercely determined to survive. As such, it’s no surprise that now stranded on an alien planet, she challenges herself to seek The unknown and ultimately, a way to return to Earth.
As one of Valiant’s trinity of writers, along with Robert Venditti and Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt is tearing it up. This book is no exception. From page one, you are drawn into Valetina’s drive to survive. By doing this, Kindt allows us to know the character’s past which then gives credence to her actions later in the book and possibly her actions later in the series. The dialogue is just outright fantastic. Sure, there are a couple of stereotypes in play, the doctor who takes in little Myshka in for example, but Kindt manages to turn that around with a small twist in the monologue. The book is paced well and feels like a “full read”. What I mean by that is, that there are a number of books out there that you just fly through in less than 5 minutes. This is the complete opposite in that it’s totally engrossing.
As good as the writing is, the art and specifically the colors, are better. British veteran artist Trevor Hairsine provides some spectacular pencils. Apparently, Hairsine’s work has been compared to Bryan Hitch. Now, Bryan Hitch may be on a big two book and he may be working hard to out Geoff Johns the Geoff Johns book, but I have to say given the choice of art styles, Hairsine would win every day. The comparison between the artists is evident around the faces of some of the earthbound characters, but take a look at the figure work of Valetina; angles in place of curves give Hairsine’s work a different look. I would go as far to say that the figure work reminds me of Marc Silvestri’s early X-Men work. Either way, the pencils look fantastic. Couple this with some stellar work by inker Ryan Winn, whose work stands out in the alien landscape and David Baron’s colors, which show the contrasts of the two worlds through the dullness of earth and the vibrancy of the alien world.
Divinity II has started well. I like the whole idea of the series and at some point, you would assume that there is going to be showdown between Valetina and Abram. The second issue sees an appearance of a certain Valiant hero, which I think may affect the story in one of two ways. I find the inclusion of the book into the Valiant universe surprising as the book feels like it’s set apart. Still if anyone can coral the different textures, it is Matt Kindt.
DIVINITY II #1 (of 4)
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TREVOR HAIRSINE