By Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Winn with Alisson Rodrigues, and David Baron with Allen Passalaqua
Divinity III: Stalinverse #4 brings the latest mini-series, as well as the Divinity trilogy, to a close. Exceptionally well-executed, this book is a shining jewel in a mini-series that is among the strongest offerings in Valiant’s arsenal.
Writer Matt Kindt stuck the landing on this story. Stalinverse has been massive in scale, extending into all corners of the Valiant universe. Worldwide mass psychosis, a new world history, and heroes turned into soldiers for a red state. It was a complete re-imagining, and part of the draw was discovering how major and minor characters fit into the new reality.
Valiant’s approach to the mini-series is what made the story so compelling. The Stalinverse wasn’t an alternative timeline or plane of reality – it simply was the new reality. The original Divinity mini-series described time like thumbing through the pages of a book. In Stalinverse, those pages were edited and rewritten. Going forward, the Valiant universe was the Stalinverse, unless someone could intervene.
The previous issue ended with a shock, literally dismantling Divinity’s attempt to rectify the situation. This book begins quietly, building in emotion and intensity as it leads to the major confrontation. The battle is gnarly and ingenious – this is no ordinary fight. A nice touch is the subtle visual humor laced through the confrontation. It does not diminish the drama and seriousness of the situation, but science fiction fans will enjoy the references.
Kindt handled the solution to the crisis with aplomb. He left no stone unturned, addressing every contingency and question a reader may encounter about the event. It should come as no surprise that the Stalinverse could not remain Valiant’s reality indefinitely, but there are repercussions that affect the Valiant universe. For instance, many new characters were introduced, and still others died. For spoiler reasons, I won’t reveal the fate of the Red Brigade or of the fallen, but readers will be satisfied seeing how these issues are handled.
Kindt imparts a bit of wisdom to his readers about our world and what we make of it. He also leaves us with one other parting gift: the promise of a beginning. There’s an excellent teaser at the end of the book that will have all fans, especially those of 90s Valiant, excited for what’s to come.
Artist Trevor Hairsine is one of Valiant’s definitive talents. Strong storytelling plus a kinetic, vibrant style are hallmarks of his work. His pencils shine here. Great detail and emotion is evident. The strategic use of camera angles to convey the story and set the mood effectively allows the story to speak for itself. Inker Ryan Winn (with Alisson Rodrigues) enhances Hairsine’s fine lines, adding prominence and depth while never obscuring Hairsine’s style. Colorist David Baron (with Allen Passalaqua) create a broad color palette that feels natural, yet employs some surprising background colors such as pink and yellow. The interpretation of space, particularly the final panel is stunning. Stalinverse #4 is a gorgeous book. This is an amazing art team who works well together.
Divinity III: Stalinverse #4 is an absolutely masterful ending to the mini-series. This is it – the final culmination of the Divinity I, II, and III mini-series. Do not miss out on what may be the best book of the entire run.