At the end of the second volume of The Wicked + The Divine, the mysterious Ananke awoke an unprecedented (as far as we know) 13th god. Then something shocking happened and the volume ended with perhaps more questions than answers.
Volume 3, subtitled Commercial Suicide, picks up a little later but rather than advance the plot much, the book spends much of its time filling in backstory for some of the minor divine characters that up to this point have been lurking in the background.
Featuring an array of guest artists, writer Kieron Gillen fills in the past for a few of the gods, namely Tara, Woden, Amaterasu, the Morrigan, Baphomet, and Sahkmet. Before the volume is concluded, another god will be dead and yet another will be imprisoned by the rest as they seek out the missing Baphomet, the god who killed the gentle Inanna in an attempt to extend his two year life. And though Ananke gave some ideas on why she revives a dozen gods every 90 years or so for a two year period last volume, we see some more of her actions this time around that will give the reader (as well as some of the more observant gods) a bit of a pause. We do learn who killed the judge at Lucifer’s trial, but we still aren’t sure why.
In fact, the problem may be there is one god who seems to know what’s going on. The problem is the god in question is the misogynistic Woden, and nobody likes him. Heck, we learn this volume he doesn’t even like himself.
There’s a bit of a set-up going on here for as-yet unknown reasons. There is, perhaps, something to Ananke’s mission, whatever it is, that would reveal the truth, but we don’t get that much. Truth be told, while I enjoyed the backstory, particularly the tragic life of Tara, the volume didn’t do much for me. I’m giving it seven and a half hungry cat goddesses out of ten. Backstory is fine, but this seems to be just the series spinning its wheels a bit before revealing the mystery behind the final page and the return of a character absent from this book for what should be assumed was a good reason.