The Wicked + The Divine is the newest comic from Image that just makes people go crazy over it (certainly helps that it has the team from Young Avengers on it, another comic that people went nuts over). It doesn’t honestly have the same effect on me as it does with others, but maybe that can change with the latest issue. Is it good?
The Wicked + The Divine #3 (Image Comics)
Laura heads below the London Underground where another pop god called The Morrigan is giving a concert, so she can see if this god can provide any information about who is framing Lucifer. However, things take a weird turn when a poser god named Baphomet shows up, carrying Morrigan’s head and declaring he is everyone’s new favorite god. Someone called Badb shows up and things really start get out of hand.
Ever get the feeling this comic is weird? I dunno, probably nothing.
Having finished reading this issue, I’m left saying: “Huh, that was something I suppose.” It certainly was something, but not much else. In the first half of the book, we spend the time watching Baphomet and Badb/Morrigan bicker at each other nonsensically, things sort of happen randomly, and we basically learn one single thing (which is completely suspect in and of itself because the person could be lying). The rest of the issue is far less exciting and much slower paced in comparison as Laura talks with Cassandra about eliminating suspects. Not much else to the issue besides that. The story barely progressed, characters are still unlikeable or undeveloped, and they’re back to square one with the mystery.
There’s just not much here to chew on. Character-wise, it’s not particularly impressive and rather underwhelming. Laura herself is just an obsessed fangirl who doesn’t care about anything else but her idols with no other depth to it. Cassandra is just another fan herself who just has nothing else going for her. The gods introduced here are Baphomet and Morrigan, who at least feel like there is something to them. There’s not much honestly outside of their inane yelling at each other about who is better (at least I think, since it’s hard to tell given their dialogue), but they do feel different have and more of a personality than the two girls. Though, when you get down to it, all four of these characters and almost all of the other characters so introduced so far in the series lack charm to them. They are all rather unpleasant, full of themselves, rather dickish individuals who don’t have anything particularly likeable or amusing about them, making it unlikely that you’d want to follow them around for a series.
I think the dude is crazy, he’s talking to a severed head.
Even beyond the characters, there are certainly problems with the rest of the writing. The story structure and flow is fine, with no issues here for the most part. The pacing is fine as well, but it really drags at points, especially when the book gets very dialogue heavy. Speaking of which, the dialogue narration are less than impressive at points. It can sound very clunky and unnatural instead of being “hip” or modern. Occasionally, it’s not bad, but there’s nothing particularly memorable about it either, outside of sounding goofy at one point. There’s also no real heart or emotion to the story here either; certainly nothing that’ll make you feel anything besides a bit of confusion since the characters don’t really make you feel for them and the story doesn’t even touch about people’s passion for music and its performers like in previous issues. Just kind of a hollow experience.
What isn’t hollow or underwhelming is the artwork for this book. I may not be as a big of a fan of Jamie McKelvie as others, but I can recognize how well the artwork serves this book. The characters are very distinctive and recognizable (though they share similar facial features), with a rather good and reasonable range of emotions that bring them to life. There’s a good energy to the book with how scenes and events are laid out in the pages; though at points the layouts make the comic slightly decompressed and padded out in areas. The colors are beautiful and have a nice shine to them (though some tones look off in areas), and the inking is very clean. Not at bad looking book at all, just wish the writing was more up to par for it to really shine through.
I wonder if these characters realize how stupid they sound when they talk like this.
Is It Good?
The Wicked + The Divine #3 is a less than impressive outing for one of Image’s bigger and more popular hits this year. The story feels weak and empty, the characters are underdeveloped and rather unenjoyable to watch, the dialogue needs much more ironing out, and all of this really drags down the pretty artwork that’s doing its best to try to carry the book. This is easily the weakest outing for the book and needs to really step things up for next issue.