Maybe last time was just a misstep with The Wicked + The Divine. Every comic occasionally has one now and then, so maybe it can turn around with this issue, right? Let’s see if it can. Is it good?
The Wicked + The Divine #4 (Image Comics)
So Laura is taken by Baal to where the pantheon of the Gods hang out because she has been investigating the murder case on Lucifer’s behalf. At the place, she meets most of the Gods and has a talk with their leader or the head of the place, Ananke. There, she gets the rules of the game and how this whole ‘god’ thing works…
Let’s see here: We’ve got two extras from Tron, a Lady Gaga fangirl, the lead singer from My Chemical Romance, some woman from Game of Thrones, and someone from Assassin’s Creed.
Soooo… that was an issue. No seriously, what is there to say about this comic? It certainly had a story happening this time around instead of most of the issues simply having two characters bicker at each other and spouting insane babble. That being said, so what? If it wasn’t for the ending, this would be a compeltely dull and empty experience. We basically learn the rules for how the gods operate, why they don’t do more for the world for vague reasons and that they police themselves (because that sort of thing totally works), while also confirming it’s pretty much one of them who caused this mess. But the thing is, it’s just not particularly engaging. There’s very little characterization (except for the repeated idea that they are totes awesome) to make the characters particularly interesting and enjoyable to read about, while the dialogue itself is pretty flat and unremarkable outside of a lot of corniness, groaners, and vague babble to make themselves seem so smart and mysterious.
The rest of the writing and story doesn’t fare so well either. Again, there’s really no characterization or development here. Laura remains an uninteresting and unremarkable character, who doesn’t feel remotely special or have anything stand out about her besides the fangirl who wants to look cool in front of her idols. We meet the rest of the gods, but outside of one or two traits, they feel similar and and not memorable (personality-wise, at least they have a unique look to help differentiate themselves from one another). The pacing is fine and the story flows well enough, outside of an awkwardly placed title page (sort of like how Hickman’s Infinity had at points) towards the beginning. There’s no real look or discussion about music and artistry of it (not even a tad), so the whole pop idol god thing still is feeling rather underused here. There’s no heart, emotion, or passion to it that’ll make you feel or care for the story or characters. Ultimately, this series is starting to feel rather hollow and empty.
You will never be cool, girl.
The artwork, however, still manages to rise above it as much as it can. There wasn’t much happening, so the art wasn’t able to stretch itself much this issue outside of the ending (which was thankfully exciting and felt like something was happening) and the couple of designs here. Speaking of which, the character design for the rest of the gods are certainly unique, and make them stand apart from one another, despite looking incredibly goofy (Tron? Seriously?). The story flows pretty well from panel to panel, the coloring is appealing, and the characters are pretty expressive looking. The only weakness is that artist didn’t get to really stretch himself and that the backgrounds can be often very boring.
Is It Good?
The Wicked + The Divine #4 is a rather lackluster issue. It’s an issue that feels like its spinning its wheels, barely telling us anything or telling us stuff we could have easily guessed on our own. Outside of an interesting ending and appealing art, it lacks an engaging story or plot progression; there’s little character, personality, or emotion to the issue, however it is making good use of its premise and setup. Ultimately, it’s hard to really recommend a book like this, especially when Image is putting out far better comics with real depth and life in them this week.