‘The Wicked + The Divine #23:’ Comic Book Review

Once again, a new arc of The Wicked + The Divine has begun, and with it comes one of the more interesting additions to the lore of the gods and their brief, but exciting, lifespans.

Here's a recap of what happened when the last arc ended: Ananke, the de facto leader of the group, was outed as a lunatic killer and, in turn, met her end after the murders of three other gods in what was to be her divine plan. For ages, Ananke has led the gods and been their mentor, their parental figure, and the one to keep them in check. This arc begins with a distinct change in that status quo, and, for the first time, the gods are on their own for whatever time they have left.

The series, thus far, has been a huge, sprawling look into the gods themselves and the struggles and celebrations of being as powerful as they are. In this issue, we get to see the consequences of the death of Ananke and their new roles as several of the remaining gods: The Morrigan, rising leader Baal, Woden, Amaterasu, and a posthumous interview with the enigmatic Lucifer.

Several well-known journalists sit down with the mysterious and popular figures, doing extensive interviews with each, complete with profiles and gorgeous illustrations by the incredibly talented Kevin Wada.

These illustrations are significantly different than the masterworks of Jamie McKelvie, but that's not to say that Wada is any less of a brilliant creator. His work feels almost like pop art, colorful and vibrant, not to mention absolutely gorgeous.

As for the interviews themselves, they are deep, poignant, and for fictional characters, incredibly revealing. Each journalist has gotten a great look into the character, and, each time, they make them feel absolutely real. This is especially true as Dorian Lynskey sits down with Baal, as well as Laurie Petty's chat with the enigmatic Woden. Leigh Alexander's talk with the Morrigan, Mary HK Choi's adventure with the charismatic but guarded Lucifer, and Ezekiel Kane's experience with a holy and emotive Amaterasu are all also very well done, but those two really stood out to me.

What really sticks out is writer Keiron Gillen's masquerade as each of these characters as the subjects of the interviews. He matches the vibe and the tone of each god well. With each interview, it's distinctive and unique.

The combination of this process makes for a beautiful, magazine-style issue, and with it comes a look into the new normal that these gods are facing.

Wada does an amazing job, and I wouldn't mind him working more often on the book, knowing that this means that Jamie McKelvie will be here for the rest of the series. After an action-packed last arc, this seems to be almost a reset for the remaining characters which is something I can't wait to see.

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