by Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Winn, David Baron

The second issue of Valiant Entertainment’s first original property is just as strong as the first. Much like that issue, this is a character study first and foremost (which is appropriate given that Divinity will surely become a major player in the Valiant Universe) with only a secondary interest in the plot. However, the series is beautifully evocative and gives the publisher further ammunition in its quest to produce some of the industry’s finest comics.

Whereas much of the first issue was devoted to recounting Abram’s past, here a great deal of the focus is on the present. In the Australian Outback, Divinity #2 continues to create a kind of paradise on Earth giving everyone who comes what they want. Eventually, one of the Russian scientists who had worked on the project in the 1950’s comes on behalf of Neville Alcott. Divinity restores the scientist’s sight and sends him with a message to Alcott that he is only trying to do good. Alcott, skeptical that anyone as outwardly benevolent as Divinity could be genuine, sends the Unity team to take him down, which angers Divinity.

Although early previews seemed to suggest that the Divinity character was created essentially to serve as replacement for Solar since Dynamite held the Gold Key licenses, it’s clear from this issue that Divinity is far more than a mere Solar (or Dr. Manhattan, for that matter) imitation; there’s a certain “flower power” element to the character, particularly in the way in which he grants everyone exactly what they are looking for in the most beautifully simple ways. This is an incredibly elegant comic that, in comparison with his other Valiant work, really highlights Kindt’s versatility as a writer. That he is capable of writing evocative, literary comic such as this while also delivering the espionage stories of Ninjak and the science fiction of Rai is astounding, and Valiant is lucky to have a writer of his quality.

Opinions on Trevor Hairsine’s work have always seemingly been mixed; however, the artwork on this series could really change people’s minds. Perhaps a great deal of the credit goes to inker Ryan Winn, whose clear lines help draw attention to Hairsine’s light pencils. This is actually a rather tricky script for an artist, as there a lot of images, such as a man turning into butterflies, which are meant to be tranquil, but easily come across as creepy as if they are not depicted just so. Much credit goes to the entire art team for conveying the beauty of Matt Kindt’s script perfectly. In addition to the comic itself, I greatly appreciate that Valiant included a pencils, inks, and colors breakdown with commentary by colorist David Baron much like what has been included in The Valiant. Overall, a really solid sophomore issue.

Although the series was initially pitched as an arc of Unity, I’m glad that Valiant saw the potential in the story and instead opted to make it a Prestige-format Mini-Series. Much like the recent Harbinger: Omegas, this is an example of a comic being so good that it needs to marketed as such. Both casual readers and Valiant fans would be highly advised to read this if they aren’t already.

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