Comic Review: The Wicked + The Divine Volume 5

The basic premise of writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie is that every ninety or so years, 12 mortals are awoken as gods who are adored, do…something, and are dead within two years’ time.

But there seems to be more to it, and has been since the woman known as Ananke revived a 13th god.  What was up with that?  This Image series moves slowly towards some answers in the fifth trade subtitled Imperial Phase Part 1.

The gods, Ananke hinted before she was killed by the 13th god Laura Wilson/Persephone, had the purpose to defeat something called the Great Darkness.  What that is, exactly, isn’t quite known, though Baal and Amaterasu as “older” sky gods apparently were told a bit about it before.  Baal in particular knows of this because his mortal father was killed by it, a human-shaped creature of shadow that attacks a few times during the course of book, always targeting the young goddess Minerva.  Meanwhile, Persephone’s own power seems to make the creatures larger and stronger for some reason, and she’s starting to fit into the more hedonistic lifestyle of the others, hanging out particularly with the very feral, very quick-to-anger cat goddess Sakhmet.

If anything, this volume does allow for some hints as seen in a last interlude of Ananke from before she met her end, suggesting what Laura’s role here really is, and also offers insight into Woden, the god nobody likes who has a talent for building machines while being a complete asshole to everyone.  The gods are no closer to working collectively than before, even with a clear threat looming over them all.  And there’s still the mystery of whether or not they still die within two years.  The first of the gods to reappear have been around for roughly a year and they all seem to be behaving in a less human manner all the time.  How does one check an out-of-control god?

I’m still digging this, though the fake magazine issue that started the book didn’t do much for me as it may have just been there to give McKelvie a chance to rest a bit between issues.  Let’s say eight and a half rave experiments out of ten.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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