Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Winn, David Baron
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: December 21, 2016

Stalin assassinated Lenin…and the world was never the same.

The Stalinverse is engulfing the Valiant Universe, with all of the heavy hitters serving the USSR faithfully. What chance does the world stand of restoring freedom when the iron fist crushing the populace is so strong?

Kindt builds this story well, bringing new readers into the alt-universe of Divinity and showcasing the loyalty characters have to the USSR. Seeing the unified powerhouses of Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Shadowman and more united beneath the hammer and sickle is certainly jarring, but Kindt presents this information as what it is: an impossible challenge to freedom. He builds that challenge well before revealing the story’s champion, a reveal he frames very well. His execution certainly grabbed me and I’m curious to see where he takes this story.

Trevor Hairsine’s work is inconsistent throughout the issue, showcasing the power of these Valiant heavyweights well, but non-masked facial work is all over the place. The inconsistencies hurt the overall storytelling of the issue, as they broke the flow and detracted from the strong work with several characters. Does the issue tank because of it? No. The story is delivered, but not with the depth it could be.

The colour palette used by Baron suits the tone of the story well. His work is solid from start to finish.

The Stalinverse is an intriguing place and I am curious to see where the creative team takes this. The challenge in front of the freedom fighter is a difficult one and if the pencils can even up with the writing, Divinity III could be a lot of fun.

The Verdict: 7.0/10


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