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‘The Wicked + The Divine #29:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Well, it looks like we’re back. After a small break in the main series, our favorite series about decadent and self-destructive gods returns with what is being called “the second half of a double album,” with the opening of the newest arc, “Imperial Phase II.”  With the insanity that came with the last arc, things aren’t pretty for the remaining gods left in the cast, especially since they’re not only working against the mysterious and powerful being known only as “The Great Darkness,” but with the fallout from some major reveals that we knew as readers, but certain characters did not. And oh, things not go well when everything was out in the open.

As long as you’re caught up in the series, this shouldn’t be a spoiler. But if you aren’t, well, here’s your warning.

Spoilers for some of the last arc ahead.

After learning of the plans by the others through a rather sexual session with Amaterasu, Sakhmet murders a bunch of people, putting her in the crosshairs of the other gods. This is only further complicated by her relationship with Persephone and Persephone’s penchant for not caring at just the right moment.

This is pretty much the end of the spoilers.

As the series nears the halfway point of year three, it’ll be interesting to see where this arc takes the story as a whole. Writer and co-creator Kieron Gillen has mentioned that he can see the end, but how near that is seems to be unknown, even to those creating it. That’s a good thing for us, the readers, but as we near the entry into year four, things seem like they are making their way, slowly but surely, towards the conclusion.

Speaking of Gillen, he’s pretty great, isn’t he? I mean, this is a complex and winding story, and he and the rest of the creative team have navigated it with charm, bad jokes (most of those are on social media, however), good jokes, and a talent for weaving a very interesting story through multiple perspectives. It’ll be very interesting to see where he and the team take it from here.

Which brings to me the section where I also mention how fantastic the art team is. If Gillen is the mastermind behind the story (which is only partially true, I imagine), then Jamie McKelvie is the visual master in which this story really sings. His style is brilliant, and the dynamism in which he works comes through on every page. That, combined with the stellar coloring work of Matt Wilson, is the true draw of this series. The story is great, but the art is one of a kind. And let’s not forget the fantastic Clayton Cowles who takes the dialogue to new heights with his lettering style, which mixes a bit of the standard word balloon with several multi-colored and oddly shaped boxes that really lend to the individuality of the characters.

Long story short: This book is great, has been great, and looks to continue on that path for the foreseeable future. I love it, almost thirty issues in, and it’s as fun now as it was when it first launched several years ago. With a consistent team, great things are possible, and since it’s already been announced that the team is here to stay until the book ends, we’re in for a major treat.


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