by Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Winn and David Baron
The build-up for Divinity has been massive, and the mini-series has been absolutely universe-shattering, shaking the Valiant Universe to the core, but one can’t help but wonder if maybe four issues wasn’t enough to tell this story? It feels like maybe four issues of Divinity didn’t do a character of this magnitude justice and even if they’ve announced a Divinity II, next year, it’s hard to feel satisfied…
Saying that, or rather typing it, was a startling revelation. The first three issues were insanely cool, with new ideas and little hints at bigger ideas and problems that will ripple throughout the VU and that’s really due to the genius that is Matt Kindt. But this finale doesn’t really feel like the proper payoff. It feels like maybe this was simply a prologue to a much larger story, which is fine when you really think about it, but then to wait until 2016 for the follow-up? The gap in between almost feels like it will marginalize the character, even if he shows up in at least Imperium. Someone with this power, however new they might be, being pushed off to the side like this feels untrue to what the VU has been doing. Shouldn’t a character like this be in the upcoming Book of Death event? Based on current information, it’s possible that he will play a role in it, but he certainly doesn’t have his own book like many other key players in the VU–at least not that’s been announced yet, there’s always time. Maybe the genius of Kindt will be better displayed in one sitting, when the trade is out, but as far as a finale to the first chapter of Divinity is concerned this might have fallen a bit flat.
Adding to the feeling left behind from reading issue four was what we ended up with in the art department. Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Winn and David Baron have produced, arguably, three of the best issues of their careers up to this point, but Divinity #4 just doesn’t quite live up to that mark. Maybe the root of the problem is with Hairsine’s pencil work, as some of the characters feel off and certain panels leave you lingering, trying to figure out what was wrong with them and why it caught your eye. It’s possible it was a combination of pencil and ink, but only having a few examples of inker Ryan Winn’s work, it’s difficult to pin this on him. The book, in places, really looks like Hairsine’s work on Eternal Warrior which, frankly wasn’t his best. David Baron’s color work, as usual, was exemplary and certainly elevated the work from what it could have been. Between Winn and Baron, this issue was certainly better than it might have been. Some spots still had flashes of the brilliance that the first three issues had, but overall it doesn’t feel the same and as a result falls well below the bar they’ve set.
Divinity, overall, was magnificent. The first three issues felt new, fresh and introduced a real player into the VU, but the fourth proved to be a bit of an anchor that dragged the series back from what, arguably, could have been better than The Valiant, which still holds the title of best mini-series (or event, if you want to pull it into that realm) in recent memory, from any publisher. Matt Kindt is a genius, a visionary and a true architect of the VU while this art team has clearly produced better work, much better in fact, which really isn’t fully reflected in this outing. Regardless of any air being let out of the proverbial balloon, Divinity is still worth checking out and still a very good introduction to a new character that has no baggage or strings from previous Valiant incarnations making him a great starting point for new fans. As a trade, read in one sitting, Divinity‘s stature might change, and maybe that’s for a later review to decide, but for now the fourth issue leaves me wanting more and wishing the bar that was set so high was maintained to the end.