Last issue, Divinity II ended with the potential for a massive time paradox and/or implosion. This week, the fallout begins.
Is it good?
Divinity II #3 (Valiant Entertainment)
- Divinity needs some skin cream or something…
- …and maybe a little help. Divinity II is wiping the floor with him.
- TIME CHASE!
- We’re about to step on a whole lot of butterflies.
- Dang. Divinity II is ruthless—even by Soviet standards.
- Kind of weird seeing these two god-like forces fight during the era of my childhood.
- Kind of cool, too.
- If you thought the last image of Planet of the Apes was eerie, wait until you see this…
Every 80’s kid who ever watched the news knows that birthmark.
Is It Good?
Now THIS is how you do a good time travel story.
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of it, however, hats off to artist Trevor Hairsine for what may be the best work I’ve ever seen from him. His characters and action sequences were all up to their usual high standard (with inker Ryan Winn and colorist David Baron making it all look even more beautiful). But for any aspiring comic book artists out there, this issue is a master class on paneling inventive paneling.
Hairsine does a fantastic job ordering the chaotic, time bending sequences in such a way that they’re gorgeously simple. On some of the more static panels, he makes artistically bold choices that turn them into poster-worthy images.
Story-wise, Matt Kindt deftly executes a time travel tale without the benefit of a ‘fixed timeline.’ (See the handy chart below).
Instead, he wrangles the always ornery ‘dynamic timeline’ and weaves it with just the right amount of multiverse—all from a completely organic place that is set against the backdrop of an incredible, century-spanning battle.
The characters explain what’s happening in an elegant and visceral manner. It never feels like they’re breaking the fourth wall to spew exposition vomit at the reader. Instead, we’re treated to two gods bickering over what they believe their titantic battle will achieve. By the end of the issue, we’re left with an ending that is both plausible (despite the insane/fantastic nature of the narrative) and chilling.
My only quibble with this issue is that I would have loved to have seen a bit more of the various stops in time (particularly the 1980’s). That may be something that Kindt will explore later, but even if he doesn’t, I can live with it.
Writing a time travel tale is hard. Writing a book in which the two main characters are virtually omnipotent is arguably even harder. Kindt took both and crafted Divinity II #3 into one hell of a good issue.