Review: The Wicked + The Divine #22
Well, you can’t say that this arc of The Wicked + The Divine hasn’t been wild from start to finish. Because the ending is somehow even wilder than the start.
For those worried about Amaterasu being a coward by running away in the previous issue… Well, “fearful” might be a better term for it after seeing two grown adults get vaporized, but Ammy actually runs off to get the next best grown-up: Cassandra. Which is an accurate description of Cassandra Igarashi, but from her response of “It’s worse than I thought,” that’s not exactly a duty she wants.
These moments between Cassandra and Amaterasu bring me back to #15, where most of the issue was conflict between the two over the issue of appropriation vs. appreciation. One that happened to take place over Hiroshima because flying gods and such. It’s nice to see that Cass and Ammy have at least reached a place of mutual respect with each other, since Ammy immediately ran to Cass when she knew she was out of her depth in regards to Ananke and the god fight happening outside of her window. It also makes me sad how simplistic the discourse around Amaterasu was after that issue, boiling her down to her more problematic elements instead of her whole character. It’s easy to imagine she’ll be called a coward for running to find Cassandra instead of throwing herself in front of Minerva when Ananke came knocking, but knowing to find someone who could be level-headed enough to actually diffuse the situation and getting everyone to focus? Not cowardly at all. And when it was successful? I’ve never been so happy to be proven wrong about how Cassandra would be perceived by her peers.
Plus, the lighting in the scene where Ammy finds Cass is beautiful. I feel like I’m running out of nice things to say about Matt Wilson’s coloring every months because he always finds new ways to impress me. This issue especially has so much soft neon glow and fire reds that it’s sort of beautiful in its chaos.
The issue doesn’t have much in the way of giant fight scenes since most of that was taken care of in 21. However, it does have one climactic fight that includes a nickname I laughed for a straight minute over and ends in a literal explosion like any good arc ending for The Wicked + The Divine. However, this particular explosion has a very ‘Youth Gone Wild’/”No Gods, No Masters” sort of implication. Or maybe “Gods with No Masters” is a better phrase there. Either way, we got ourselves a situation where these kids either saved themselves or doomed us all. Knowing Kieron Gillen’s usual writing, probably the latter. I could still be right about us being all doomed by the hubris of Gods.
At least Woden may have some semblance of a spine now? Only time will tell.
With bringing “Rising Action” to a close, The Wicked + The Divine #22 brings forth another solid issue with great character moments with Cassandra, Woden, and Persephone and the biggest status quo shakeup the comic has seen yet. As the comic heads into its “Imperial Phase,” it should be interesting to see how all the pieces begin to settle come November.
The Gods are running out of time. Let’s get nuts.
Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review