Review: Divinity III: Stalinverse #1
Earth has a new god. The world you know is gone. Welcome to the Stalinverse, comrade.
Words cannot describe how fucking excited I am for this comic. I need you to know that before we continue so you know where I’m coming from as the review continues – FYI, I’m writing this first paragraph with the physical comic sat on my knee and it’s killing me to leave it there. My anticipation levels are through the bloody roof.
So, with the first read of the comic done, it was over WAY too quickly, but the first impressions are that the first issue is very much worth your money.
First things first, however, is that if you haven’t read Divinity or Divinity II can you read this story and enjoy it? As long as you’re aware of the scope of the reality changing powers of Abram Adams, the original Divinity and the first Russian cosmonaut to return to Earth after a deep, deep space mission, and Miska the second cosmonaut to return – both having gained those aforementioned reality altering powers courtesy of some fantastic looking space magic. Once you have that under your belt you’re good to go (but it’s well worth reading those other stories as they are also fantastic).
I didn’t really know what to expect when I opened this comic, because other than knowing that the Valiant Universe’s reality had been altered (and by whom) I knew nothing else about the story of the comic.
Written by Matt Kindt, the first issue of Divinity III: Stalinverse establishes the new status quo of a single Soviet superpower literally on the first page with a timeline of the Stalinverse’s events going back to 1922. It’s a simple yet very effective way of setting out differences of the new reality with the minimum amount of information. With that taken care of, the rest of the comic introduces the new versions of some pretty familiar characters in an arguably formulaic way which makes complete and utter sense in the context of the story; indeed had it been done any other way, it would have felt forced. The smoothness with which Kindt introduces the Stalinverse characters blends seamlessly into the setting of the story for the rest of the miniseries and it’s respective tie-in comics.
Artistically, the art team are firing on all cylinders; I have nothing but praise for the art, and am incredibly impressed with how quickly you’re pulled into the atmosphere of the story. I had some pretty lofty expectations for Divinity III‘s first issue, expectations that I never actually expected the comic to meet if I’m being totally honest, but the opening chapter of the story hit me like a freight train of awesome and bounced me around like it’s plaything.
As a first issue, this comic is pretty much perfect. Without a doubt, this is Valiant‘s best comic of the year – don’t be surprised when you see this bringing home the awards.
Story: Matt Kindt Penciler: Trevor Hairsine
Inker: Ryan Wynn Colourist: David Baron
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Although Valiant provided a FREE copy for review, I purchased and read my physical copy – hence the delay in the publication of the review.