Score: 5

Bursting with surprises, action, and glorious art, this well-crafted story will be one that you will read and re-read for years to come

Summary 5.0 Perfect
Score: 5
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Summary 5.0 Perfect

Divinity III: Stalinverse #3

By Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Winn with Alisson Rodrigues, David Baron

The fast-paced thrills and reveals in Divinity III: Stalinverse #3 will keep readers on the edge of their seats throughout this excellent book.

Divinity III is the third miniseries in this imaginative story from acclaimed writer Matt Kindt about cold war Russian cosmonauts returned to earth with god-like powers. This third outing, Stalinverse, finds the entire Valiant universe in the grip of Russia. This isn’t an alternative reality. The history of the world has been rewritten, and the Soviet Union controls nearly everything and everyone, including many of Valiant’s heroes.

We’re nearing the end of this latest miniseries, and three issues in, it feels like a much larger story than four books. This is due in part to the supporting one-shots that have placed the spotlight on key players in the Valiant universe, effectively showing their personality changes and lifestyle as minions of the Soviet Union. The one-shots have strengthened the reader’s immersion and understanding of how this event has encompassed the entire universe. But the credit for the perceived heft of the series goes to Kindt, who has created a story with layers and teeth. Reimagining world history and applying it to an entire comic universe is no small task, but Kindt has done so without superficiality. The new reality he has created is a bit unsettling given the current political climate and fears of Russian meddling, making the story that much more riveting.

Stalinverse #3 almost immediately kicks off with a major fight and continues in that vein until the end. The action plays perfectly off of a story whose roots are grounded in revolution. To call this an exciting read doesn’t quite do it justice. The story isn’t all adrenaline, though. Kindt includes some well-placed quiet moments that add emotional weight and serve the urgency of the action. Ninjak is in fine form here, battling against the Red Brigade and time itself.

As exhilarating as the action is, it’s the reveals that will leave readers with mouths agape. From the powers of the Red Brigade to some surprising solidarity, there’s much to absorb here. For those who have figured out the pattern that the separate miniseries have established, you will love seeing that Myshka’s chickens come home to roost. Even if you have connected the dots, you won’t expect what’s coming. Also notable are the fine details, like a character’s admission of love for 1950’s sci-fi, and seeing how that translates into the story.

Illustrator Trevor Hairsine, inker Ryan Winn (along with Alisson Rodrigues) and colorist David Baron make up the art team for the book. Make no mistake, this book is gorgeous. Nothing was left to chance. Hairsine has a distinctive style that seems to reverberate with energy, especially in action sequences. His use of wide-angle panels immerses the reader, giving a panoramic view into the story’s world. Winn’s precise inks showcase his range, from ultra-fine details to strong depths. Baron’s colors add much to the story, subtly reinforcing concepts and evoking emotional responses. Don’t take my word for it – be sure to read Kindt’s commentary on the art of the book.

Divinity III: Stalinverse #3 is an absolute must-read. Bursting with surprises, action, and glorious art, this well-crafted story will be one that you will read and re-read for years to come.

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