Volume Two of The Wicked + The Divine, subtitled “Fandemonium,” picks up shortly after the end of Volume One. Laura Wilson had managed a small miracle in the privacy of her own home following the death of one of the gods right in front of her, and she’s trying to see if she can do it a second time. Before the book is over, the last of the returned gods have been revealed, and a major change in the status quo has hit that almost certainly led to the bad reviews I saw for Volume Three since after the events of this book, going back to a series of flashbacks to give various characters backstory must have been frustrating.
But for now, let’s talk this volume.
Laura, along with transgender reporter cynic Cassandra, is looking into the unsolved details of Lucifer’s death. Everyone knows who did it, but there are a lot of mysteries surrounding the event. Who were the gunmen who tried (and failed) to kill Lucifer before? Who killed the judge at her trial? And what is Ananke’s deal anyway?
We get some answers here as Laura meets a few more gods and even starts a relationship with Inanna. Inanna, and later Dionysus, seem a bit different. Inanna is actually a bit sweet, while Dionysus only seems to care about making people happy. They offer a sharp contrast to other gods, most notably Baphomet, slowly turning into the series’ villain, who seems more angry than anything else to gain tremendous power only with the promise he will die within two years. It turns out that may not be true, but there’s some weirdness involving why it is happening there since he was both told how and forbidden to do so by the same person.
The reader also gets a bit more information on what Ananke’s role is. The gods do have a purpose, one that they apparently rarely meet, but they do have a reason to return every ninety years. And even when they do meet that purpose, it seems to be only temporary.
The problem is Ananke, even when she’s explaining things, does so in riddles, and even she’s not sure whether or not the gods are what they claim to be. She’s an enigmatic figure, and her actions at the end of the book certainly do seem to have made for some major changes, though knowing the mythological name of the other character involved may help explain what happened. I really don’t know, truth be told, but I’d be interested in finding out.
Kieron Gillen’s writing and Jamie McKelvie’s art remains in top form, and I probably wouldn’t mind a few flashbacks at this point. Let’s say this one was eight and a half bird forms out of ten.