Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine’s tale of a returned Soviet cosmonaut with god-like powers continues. Is it good?
Divinity #2 (Valiant Entertainment)
So remember how last issue Abram Adams seemed a little scary after he returned from space? Turns out he’s a pretty cool dude. Turns out he’s using all those crazy powers to give people exactly what they want… yes, even the dude who turned into a bird (I think).
But before learning that, we flash back to Abram’s previous days on earth. His girlfriend tells him she’s pregnant, which leads to him revealing that he is going into space for the next few decades.
As you might imagine, she didn’t take the news very well.
We then seem him isolated in deep space with no one to talk to or share his experiences…until he begins hearing old radio broadcasts from earth. Since the Soviets have largely abandoned their aggressive push into other galaxies (and deny his mission ever occurred), Abram’s history of the world comes in the form of various media reports on the state of the world.
Back in Australia, one of the original members of the team that sent him into space arrives and comes face to face with his old mission subject. Abram promptly de-ages him a few decades (see, cool dude) and instructs him to tell the rest of the world about him.
This results in a high powered team of negotiators and/or assassins being sent to find him (because whether it’s being used for good or evil, unlimited power still scares the crap out of people). Predictably, their initial meeting turns from friendly into hostile (for the most part) in a hurry.
Is It Good?
This issue was much more straightforward than the last one, but Kindt still utilizes a non-linear narrative to give us a great story. It’s well handled, never veering off into pedestrian or WTF territory too far. The theme of isolation weaves between threads featuring a man separated from his heart and a god separated from his humanity.
Just like last issue, the artwork by Hairsine is absolutely gorgeous. We really didn’t get a lot of action at all this issue, but his lush landscapes and character renderings still shined.
My only quibbles are small ones, chiefly was the introduction of other Valiant characters without much warning. This is the first title of theirs that I’ve read (don’t judge), it threw me a bit out of the tight, atmospheric story they were telling.
I also wished we delved more into where Abram was and what he encountered out in space. It was hinted (and kind of shown) last issue, but not much was given here beyond the radio signals. While his ‘human’ backstory is plenty interesting on its own, it was a bit of a letdown not to get to learn more about where his new powers/essence/being came from.
And the issue’s last page, while highly effective, felt very disconnected from what should have been the actual cliffhanger. Of course, last month I said the dude getting turned into a bird didn’t make much sense and it all worked out fine, so who knows.
But those issues aside, the creative team behind this one is giving us a fascinating tale of high-minded science fiction grounded in the most basic of human emotions. It’s beautiful to look at, fun to read, and easily hooks you for the third issue. If you like great science fiction…or just great comics in general…then you should be reading Divinity.