In this issue of The Wicked + The Divine, a guest artist gives us some insight into cosplay favorite Amaterasu. Is it good?
The Wicked + The Divine #15 (Image Comics)
As with the last few issues, we see the events through the eyes of one god; today it is Amaterasu. The gods gather at the hospital in the wake of Tara’s suicide, but are again told that Baphomet is responsible. There is a twist, though: Ananke tells the group that there is a potential demon on the loose, causing these acts of evil to happen.
The group quickly disintegrates into fighting and all stalk off, leaving Amaterasu behind. As scenes progress, we get flashbacks to Amaterasu’s pre-godhood, implying that her mother or someone close also died on her, possibly by suicide or violence.
Tara’s body is in the same hospital that Kerry is recuperating in, and when Amaterasu goes to visit, she finds Minerva sitting with her. Minerva admits that everything that’s been happening with Luci and the murders don’t seem to be adding up. At that moment, Urdr appears and she and Amaterasu snip at each other until Amaterasu transports them to Japan. They resolve their fight and Amaterasu ends the issue at a shrine, placing prayers for each of the fallen members of the pantheon, with their original human names.
Is It Good?
There is a LOT to unpack in this issue. Let’s start with someone finally putting together that the god deaths don’t really make much sense. Our god of wisdom is fulfilling her role and now I’m really worried for her future. Ananke has no respect for life outside of her goals, so unless Minerva and Amaterasu keep this to themselves, we know which god is going to be next to be snapped.
Minerva fulfilling her role of wisdom brought up an interesting question: we know the gods keep their former identities and personalities, but how much of the god do they take on beyond certain powers? Ananke mentions something about this:
We see a lot of this in Urdr – she still has her abrasive, direct personality from before. The majority of her godhood seems to be in the threeness.
Amaterasu is unusual, as she’s the one god who sees the others as much as the person they were before godhood as they are now. Maybe this is because she is the only god of the Pantheon who had a connection to the god she became before the change. And now we learn that several of the gods were major fans before godhood, and read Cassandra’s writing.
So much of this issue focuses on identity. Urdr spends a lot of time in this issue addressing privilege, and out of that we get another side of her identity: she’s not only a transwoman, but is also Japanese. Amaterasu calls her out for not knowing her culturally history, and Urdr hits back that not everyone can afford to travel. As Amaterasu points out, Urdr and Cassandra before her tends to see the world in black and white. Cassandra reminds me a lot of social justice warriors, who are trying to fight for fairness and justice but end up going overboard in the process.
The final scene broke my heart. The pantheon in its current incarnation seems to be divided into those who care about what being a god means and trying to give their followers what they want, and the ones who are locked in battling with themselves. Amaterasu cares about the people around her, gods and followers alike, and the sight of all those prayers hanging there, the physical sight of her belief, made me really fall for her character. Which probably means she’s on the chopping block as well. Thanks, Gillen.
To wrap up, I have to say how outstanding the art is in this issue. W+D