By Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Winn and David Baron
There are a lot of theories about Valiant’s mini-series Divinity. Theories like this newly created character Abram Adams is going to be a replacement for the loss of Solar from the original Valiant run, who was a character that pretty much could do anything. After reading the first issue and getting even a glimpse of what writer Matt Kindt might be up to, that might not sound like such a crazy theory. If this character is capable of even half of what Solar was, then other theories about a Valiant Universe shake up might also prove to be correct. After all, who could oppose someone like that?
Before we start, let’s just put it out there that Matt Kindt is a fantastic writer who has been on an absolutely amazing roll since joining Valiant. He’s an integral part of the Valiant Universe and its future in the industry and arguably without him Valiant might not be what it is today. With that said, seeing a fresh character brought into this universe is exciting, especially because there is no previous history or knowledge of him to fall back on. We cannot compare this VEI (2012 Valiant relaunch) version to VH1 (original Valiant run) and that leaves Matt Kindt free and clear to do whatever he wishes with him. That, my friends, is exciting. As with anything else Kindt does, he’s all-in on this. The story might require a second, or even third, read to really understand everything in there, but it’s just a complex introduction to what is, likely, going to be a very complex character.
The art trio of Trevor Hairsine on pencils, Ryan Winn on inks and David Baron on colors combine to create a cornucopia of comic consistency that certainly celebrates a consistency we’ve come to expect with Valiant. Okay, ran out of ‘C’ words that made sense there, might have even pushed the envelope a little bit too far. Point being, Divinity might be some of Trevor Hairsine’s best work since jumping into the Valiant Universe. If you look back at his work on the first arc of Eternal Warrior and you compare it to now, it’s definitely safe to say that Hairsine has grown and improved as an artist. Back then, he inked his own work and in spots things might have appeared to be rougher, or even more rushed, than intended. With the addition of Ryan Winn on inks, it feels like Hairsine had more time to focus on the pencils and the characters while Winn had the task of polishing everything off. This decision from Valiant, or whoever makes these kinds of calls, pays off big and really seems to have pushed Hairsine’s art to the next level.
Slinging the color for this issue, as mentioned, is David Baron. If you can say that Hairsine’s work, along with Winn’s, is his best to date it might be safe to make the same assertion with Baron’s color work. Everything is so bright and vibrant with fantastic variations in color choices, particularly with a scene that has Abrams training for his mission to space. He’s doing laps in the rain, and instead of making things dark and gloomy, Baron choose to go with an assortment of purple tones that really makes the panels stand out. It feels fresh; it feels like Baron took some risks that absolutely paid off and it’s damn good to see.
Divinity is a bit of a mind-bending (foreshadowing?) introduction to a fantastic new VU character. We really haven’t learned a lot about what he is or what he can do, aside from some trippy glimpses towards the end of the book, and we certainly don’t fully know what happened to him on his thirty-year space exploration mission. After just one issue, it already feels like four issues might not be enough to cover a character this complex. Of course, in Kindt we trust, but there just feels like so much to explore and expand upon. This might be one of the strongest character debuts to date, not just for Valiant, and that’s going to make the wait for the second issue even more excruciating. But, hey, there’s always room for a few re-reads, right?
(If you haven’t already, check out the preview to Divinity right here.)