After a volume filled mostly with character backstory, Volume 4 of The Wicked + The Divine, subtitled Rising Action, seeks to fill in a few blanks. How did Laura, the newly reborn Persephone, survive having her head exploded by Ananke?
Well, we have some answers now.
Anyone who knows the story of Persephone probably wouldn’t be too surprised that the goddess who spent some time in the underworld would come back. What comes out is basically how she survived and the real reason “nice god” Inanna perished. It turns out there were some missing details filled in from the end of Volume 2. Ananke still managed to murder Laura/Persephone’s parents, but the actual events and reasons for the death of Inanna and how Persephone managed to come back are a bit different than what readers might have been led to believe.
As such, Persephone gathered up some divine allies. First is Baphomet, or in reality Nergal. Then the two of them bust the Morrigan out of Wotan’s prison cell in the new Valhalla and bring along the juvenile Minerva. Finally, they recruit Dionysus. That wouldn’t be too bad except only half that group really knows how to fight, and Cassandra/the Norns essentially point out that invading a supervillain lair is a mighty stupid thing to do since real people don’t really do that sort of thing.
By volume’s end, the reader and the gods know a bit more about why Ananke does what she does, but she never spoke more than cryptically. There’s something big on the horizon, and neither the reader nor the gods know exactly what it is, and for the gods at least, they don’t seem to care. There’s still a lot that isn’t known, like why Ananke revived a thirteenth god intending only to destroy her immediately. Did this happen before? Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie deliver another solid trade to this Image series, creating just as many answers as questions, and leaving the volume in a place that could go very dark as whatever leash was on the gods before is now clearly off. Nine out of ten exploding heads.