Holy moly (excuse the pun), the action is coming fast and furious in the 20th issue, as the battle against Ananke is heating up. Is it good?
The Wicked + The Divine #20 (Image Comics)
The Norns respond to a text message, leading them to Laura’s bombed out London home, fully expecting a prank. What they get is Laura/Persephone in the flesh, and an answer to what happened while she was missing/presumed dead. And the night of her death? Even more tragic than first glance.
Laura uses her powers to show Cass what actually happened the night Baphomet went to kill Inanna and steal his powers. The explosion at the church? It happened, but Inanna didn’t die. The two of them realized that they were being played and Inanna leaves with Baphomet to confront Ananke. They arrive just in time to save Laura’s life post-transition, but Ananke turns her snap onto Inanna instead. So what we saw in issue 11 was actually Inanna’s body, not Laura’s on the ground.
Mirroring her mythology, but mostly dealing with the aftermath of everything that happened that night, Laura spends the two months underground with Baphomet, not eating or moving much. But things aren’t so simple–Baphomet, in an attempt to console her, tells her the truth of his transition to godhood. Which leads to a hookup and Laura realizing that they need a real plan to save the world.
Is It Good?
Kieron Gillen promised in the writer’s notes of previous issues that this arc would be giving us plenty of plot and boy howdy, he was not exaggerating. The best part is that character development isn’t being sacrificed for that plot. This might be one of my favorite issues of the recent arcs and just because we got to see Inanna again (until he was cruelly taken away again). If we thought the events surrounding Laura’s demise were tragic before, it was nothing to what actually happened.
Laura’s long depression underground really resonated with me, as I think it would to anyone dealing with a loss. What I wonder if Laura’s depression underground was a necessary part of her becoming Persephone–we keep seeing things like this over and over with the gods. These two have had interesting chemistry and with the circumstances, I understood how a hookup could happen. I think it was handled nicely and worked with the setup.
We also now know that the knowledge of Ananke’s plan and plotting against her has been in the works for much longer than we thought, though she’s a formidable foe. It definitely gives the upcoming battle’s outcome more uncertainty–the sides seem fairly evenly matched.
One thing you can say about this team is that they never rest on their laurels. They are constantly trying new things and I love what McKelvie did with Persephone’s powers. This is the first time we (and Cass/The Norns for that matter) have seen her powers in action and the wonderful sketchy quality with the tentacle details around each panel. The sketchy quality not only gives the panels a difference, but also signals that we are getting Laura’s version of this story and it may or may not be entirely accurate. And Matt Wilson as per usual hits it out of the park with his colors. I especially love the burning church and the post-coital pair.