In this issue of Wicked + Divine, things reach a climax and WHAT THE F*#@ JUST HAPPENED?!? Is it good?
The Wicked + The Divine #11 (Image Comics)
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead!
Holy crap. Gillen warned us in the reader notes of the last issue that things were going to be coming to a head (and honestly the cover should have given me some warning), but MAN, a lot happens in this issue. I will warn you now, it’s impossible to talk about this issue without talking major plot points. Again, SPOILERS AHOY! (Also a lot of all caps. Sorry.)
The issue opens with Laura walking home, still sad over her hopes of being the last god smashed by Cassandra’s transformation. However, her moping is interrupted by the presence of Ananke in her backyard (which would freak out anyone), who tells her they have much to discuss.
Cut to Inanna’s church residency, where a full-scale orgy/dance party is in swing (see what I did there). Also lurking is Baphomet, who still believes that killing a fellow god will buy him more time, despite many MANY warnings against it. His split personality bucks him up enough to try an attack from above on Inanna, who luckily sees it coming…until Baphomet gets the best of him and hangs him St. Peter style (which works with Baphomet’s Satanic cult historical connotations) from the crucifix in the church. Inanna tries to get out of it by reminding him again that killing Inanna will not earn him more time. Which so enrages him that Baphomet apparently EXPLODES WITH RAGE, DESTROYING THE CHURCH AND KILLING BOTH OF THEM WHAT.
Back to Laura’s backyard, where she is telling Ananke how dumb she feels for still wanting to be a god, despite everything she’s seen of their world. Ananke reassures her not to feel dumb… because LAURA IS THE 13TH GOD, PERSEPHONE. WHAT.
We barely have time to get our heads around the fact that not only is Laura a god, but she is somehow the 13th god, which even Ananke didn’t realize was possible. Laura wants to run off to celebrate with Inanna, but Ananke reminds her that doesn’t she want to sing at least once? As the music builds in her, we see Ananke’s hand coming up behind her, in a familiar gesture NO NO NO…
But Laura is still narrating, saying she doesn’t remember anything after that. And thank god, because the next thing Ananke does is kill Laura’s parents because WHY NOT, JESUS, GILLEN. And we close on a blood-soaked Ananke running from Laura’s burning home.
Is It Good?
Whew. Okay. So as my repeated all caps and restrained cursing might have revealed, this was an intense issue with a lot of action. My head was spinning after finishing reading this and I may have gasped out loud at several places and even yelled, “LAURA, NO!” and scared the crap out of my cats.
Yes, this is a very good issue. For a story that had a bit of a slow middle, Gillen is throwing himself into these last few issues, and I am totally unprepared for where we are going. And I love it. It’s a tricky rope to walk, since these characters could have very low stakes – they are already fated to die in two years. But Gillen and McKelvie have made me care about these characters in such a short amount of time.
Oh Laura. The very essence of ‘be careful what you wish for.’ I have to admit, when the familiar litany of “you are of the Panetheon” began, I thought, really? Ultimate wish fulfillment, since Laura is our conduit into this world. But the tables turn so quickly, it worked. And why was her death necessary? I’m dying to know…so to speak.
And this makes me even more curious to know more about the history of the Pantheons. This one is going mighty fast – have there been other incarnations that died off this quickly? Were they hunted for their powers? If yes, was Ananke responsible for the chaos?
As per usual, McKelvie blows my mind with the art in this book. The expressions he gives to the characters sell the dialog Gillen provides and oh man, so many huge moments in this book that he adds to. The transitions from the frenzy of Inanna’s party to the quiet of the back garden to the transformation of Laura. That look of ecstasy on her face when she begins to sing makes the next moment even worse.
They both get a huge assist from Matthew Wilson – the colors were especially powerful in this issue. The calm blues and greens of Laura’s back garden contrasted to the pink sparkles and fire of Inanna’s place were perfect.
So we’re going into the end and I have no clue where it’s leading. But I cannot wait for it and not a little bit dreading it as well.
Dang it, Gillen.