Although Valiant has only released three issues of Divinity to date, and will conclude upon the fourth and final issue, it is pretty safe to say that this mini-series deserves to be in the conversation of one of the best stories that Valiant has produced. Divinity introduces and manages to merge a brand new character within the Valiant universe that is both empathetic through his purpose and fearful from his unknown level of power from the cosmos.
Abram, in the present time codenamed as ‘Divinity’, has been stripped of his name, his identity, and like most stories in which a mysterious, unknown individual that comes to Earth, is approached with extreme caution. From the first issue, Abram’s past haunts his present. His extended time in deep space causes him to revel in his memories of the woman and unborn child he has left behind on Earth. Time is something that is very uniquely played with throughout this series, becoming more prevalent and experimented with as we creep closer to the conclusion. Slender, slivers of frames slip in between one another, bending the realities of the past and present.
As the last issue left off, the members of super team Unity, comprising of X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Livewire and Eternal Warrior, have been sent out to confront Abram. As these individuals of Unity prepare to attack, Abram exhibits the unpredictable and powerful nature of his transformation from the cosmos by bending and twisting the reality that they find themselves in. All four members find themselves in an altered reality, where their battle with Divinity took place weeks before. They must now join together again to try and break out of this altered state and find themselves back in the proper understanding of reality. The bouncing between multiple time frames and altered realities is handled with extreme care through Matt Kindt’s narration and dialogue. The concepts approached aren’t delved into too deeply so it allows even the more passive reader to bask in the wonderment of what exactly happened to Abram in space.
Speaking of what exactly happened to Abram in space, the lead question of this series is, in a certain manner, finally revealed. The moment of transition for Abram gaining these extraordinary powers is preceded by quite the surprise moment. The surprise reveal is actually dealt with quite quickly, dwindling a bit its impact but could setup a potentially intriguing plot reveal in the last issue.
Trevor Hairsine’s pencils continue to impress, capturing moments of grandeur and wonder on the characters involved as well as providing cinematic tension upon the western-style standoff with Abram and Unity. Ryan Winn’s inks detail the fierce lines that show Abram’s determination to return to Earth, as well as respecting the lighting and shadowing of Hairsine’s pencils that tighten upon the tense action. David Baron’s colours are an extreme highlight in this issue that showcase his best work on Divinity so far. The image of the cosmic anomaly where Abram change is a breathtaking page. Purples, blues and whites bleed over each other into a very fantastical image that is simultaneously breathtaking and terrifying.
Divinity has been a grand epic, building in intensity as each issue progresses the story. The creative approach to storytelling is something Valiant has been excellent at since its re-inception, utilizing a wide array of talent to showcase the great stories. A deserved mention should be made towards Divinity letterer Dave Lanphear, providing an impactful component to the creative team in terms of the storybook element to this series. Inker Ryan Winn praises in the commentary section at the rear of the issue Lanphear’s arranging of the caption boxes, creating this “poetic storytelling” element. It is definitely poetic, considering the constant mentioning of Abram page-turning his ‘story.’ There is a scene, in which Abram lies in bed with his lover; yet another memory that fuels Abram’s motives. She remarks her understanding of why Abram loves a particular book she is reading, about an alien princess that has a strong control over an astronaut. Abram responds by saying: “There’s more to it than that.” Just like Divinity, it has proven to be much more than a standard sci-fi tale on the crescendo towards its upcoming conclusion.