Richard Gratton's Fantastic Reads 4 U

Divinity II #1
Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: 04/20/2016

Having not read the first series, I didn't know what to expect from the first installment of Valiant's Divinity II. New readers will not be lost, confused or disappointed. The art is superb, the writing is incredibly well-paced, and the story is fantastic. So much happens in this issue that by the end, I feel like I have been on a journey through time and space with this Russian Cosmonaut, and yet I can't wait to find out what happens next.

From the opening panels where Valentina Volkov pulls a cold, dead rat out of a dumpster for her dinner, I was hooked and wanted to know what was going on. Why would she do this? The use of flashbacks is perfect in every way. Never are we plagued with unnecessary details. We are given just enough to provide us with the knowledge we need to fully comprehend where the characters are coming from, both historically and emotionally.

Hairsine, Winn, and Baron do an amazing job of drawing us into a world of the Cold War past, a world at the edge of the universe, and present day Russia. Subtle facial expressions, simple body postures, and many times just the looks in character's eyes enhance the drama, bringing us to the point where empathy crosses into truly caring for these characters and wanting to know what will happen to them.

Nothing in this comic is unnecessary. Every scene has a purpose. Every image is compelling us, like a hand beckoning us to come closer and see what is really happening. It is difficult to say a comic is flawless, but in looking for a flaw, I can't find one. I am one who likes to savor what I read, but as I read this issue, I found myself reading faster and faster because I just couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

To say that any story that leaves you wanting more is a good story would be stating the obvious, but one that drags you from the opening image to the final panel at a breakneck pace like a roller coaster with its slow, foreboding climbs and breathtaking plummets leading to an all-too quick finish that leaves you breathless, but dying to take another turn, is creative genius. Divinity II #1 takes you on a journey that will pull you through the highs and lows of one woman's struggle from the street to the edge of the universe and back, all the while remaining true to her mission. It is truly a fantastic read. I personally can't wait for issue #2.

Scale of Awesomeness: 10 out of 10