February 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: The Wicked + The Divine Volume 9

The gods find the end of the road. What are the last of their secrets?

I said earlier this week that two Image Comics series I followed came to an end.  I reviewed one earlier this week, but now for the second.

That would be Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s The Wicked + The Divine about a pantheon of gods returning to Earth every 90 or so years for two years a pop.  We’ve seen some of what happened is not what it appears to be.  Will we get complete answers in this final volume, subtitled “Okay”.

We have known for a while that the ancient being/god named Annake lied to the others.  We have only an inkling of what those lies are, but it does appear as if she was the one pushing the gods to be so public.  There’s a reason for all that.  I’m not sure how much to say right now, so I’ll leave it at that.

We also know the 13th of 12 gods, Persephone/Laura did…something that makes her no longer a god.  Annake is also now Minerva, the youngest of the gods.  This situation has been going on for quite some time, all the way back to the dawn of human civilization.

Why is that?  The short and totally unsurprising answer is that everything happened to benefit Annake.  Laura has learned a lot about godhood.  The Great Darkness is a lie.  Annake’s role in waking the gods, to say nothing of why they die within two years, all comes to light now.  I’ll admit there are still some details I am fuzzy about.  I suspect that Kieron and McKelvie did that on purpose.  Maybe the nature of the gods should be something of a mystery.

All that really matters in the end is the gods find a place for themselves in the world.  They just have to deal with Annake first.  Plus, it doesn’t help that the authorities want many of them for various crimes.

So, a story about gods has to end in an epic manner, right?   Well, that depends on what these characters are.  A giant war between divine powers would be appropriate if these really are gods.  But what if they aren’t?  What are they, exactly?  Why are they all creative types?  The series answers at least those questions, and the answers largely fit.  Like I said, there were a couple small things that didn’t quite make sense to me, but the series answered most of the mysteries.  And what is religion without a little mystery?

The fact that some of the “dead” gods were not as dead as they appear also means there are a lot of angry gods.  And when gods get angry, someone will suffer.  Fortunately, it isn’t the reader.

The Wicked + the Divine  didn’t always work.  Some of the middle trades seemed to go on too long.  And the volume before this one, made up of special issues and extra stories, didn’t really add anything to the series.  That said, I have a deep interest in mythology, so this series was right up my alley.  The series didn’t end as well as it began, but it ended well.

8 out of 10 final funerals for Volume 9 and 8.5 out of 10 exploding heads for the series as a whole.  When the series worked, it really worked.  But when it didn’t, it had some real problems.