"Divinity #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Matt Kindt
Illustrated by Trevor Hairsine
2014, 34 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 11th, 2015
Abram Adams didn't have much of a past, but it looks like he's going to have one helluva future. No one knows where he came from or why he was abandoned on the doorstep of the Russian Foreign Minister. He excelled at school and was quickly noticed by the government for a top secret mission. The USSR had to win the Space Race by any means necessary. The powers that be decided to send a man farther into space than anyone had ever been before. Let the Americans have the moon. The Soviets would have the cosmos. Abram was an easy choice, especially since he didn't have any real connections. He went up in a special rocket...and never came back. That is...until now.
Fast forward a few decades and you've got Divinity, a new prestige format title from Valiant Entertainment. Abram has returned to earth with strange, godlike powers. Now what? The world has changed drastically since he left it. He seemed to be a pretty level headed guy before he went out to space, but he's come back changed in more ways than one. Could the cosmos have affected his mind? We don't know yet!
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Divinity has this epic feeling to it right from the start. Even Abram sees that he's destined for something big. He's going through the motions in school, knowing that these are necessary steps in order to reach his destiny in the stars. This plays into something that really sets this book apart: Time.
What's immediately apparent about this story is how fluid it sees time. It makes it very clear that time is not something with a beginning, middle, and end. It can move. This can be seen on the very first page where you see Abram dropped off as a baby, while a man in a space suit (presumably Abram as an adult) watches on from afar. It seems that after he survives whatever happens to him up in outer space, Abram gains the ability to look at his life as a book where he can jump back to revisit earlier experiences.
That space suit is a pretty awesome design. Artist Trevor Hairsine gave it a really cool look. It appears old, which fits with the Soviet era, but also has the sci-fi vibe to it with tubes flowing out the sides and a big battery pack on the back. The helmet gives it the appearance of a space adventurer not unlike Adam Strange. It's basically the kind of thing that someone in the 1950s or 1960s would think of when asked to describe a spaceman.
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Hairsine also provides a touch of genuine horror towards the end of the issue. I don't want to go into too many details to avoid spoiling it for you, but it gives a good idea of the sheer power that Abram wields now that he's returned to earth. He's capable of some truly terrifying things that may seem tame on the surface but can bend the mind when you actually think about it. There's a moment where someone realizes what's happening and the horror in the man's eyes speaks volumes. It's probably the kind of thing that Lovecraft's characters went through when confronted by the Elder Gods.
Divinity has all the makings of a great science fiction story. It's manages to deliver both on the huge scale of an epic and the personal touch of a single man's life. Now that we've seen the beginning of Abram's story, what lies ahead is how the world will react with this new superpower. Plus, what exactly happened to him up in space to give him these new abilities? If the answer is cosmic rays, I'm leaving.