Review: The Wicked + The Divine #24
As we head into a new year, the Gods are heading into theirs. Well, the beginning of 2015, but it has been a year since Laura found herself wanting everything Amaterasu had. Now she does, but at what cost?
A lot of The Wicked + The Divine #24, the first traditional issue back, is a lot of quiet reflection of where the Gods are now a year later now that Ananke is gone and they’re on their own. In the letters section, Kieron Gillen talks about how the Gods are very much in the same boat as the readers in that they don’t know what happens next. This seems especially true for Persephone, who spends a lot of this issue in her own head. While Amaterasu seems rather excited about the future (and no longer feeling ‘boring’ if her kiss with Persephone on the ledge of the Strand is anything to go by), the rest of the Gods seem less sure.
One of my favorite things about this issue is how much it captures the feeling of New Year’s Day. While the beginning of the issue captures a brief look at the revelry of New Year’s Eve with Matt Wilson’s glowing fireworks and a kiss, most of the issue is the eerily quiet hangover of the first day of the New Year. Some of it is literal with Persephone waking up in Baal’s bed with Sakhmet with Minerva warning her not to hurt Baal. Other parts of it are atmospheric, with the grey morning Persephone rides into past an adoring crowd and the silent work of Cassandra and the Norns in the ruins of Valhalla. It feels like that long, deep breath, where you seem to not just be recovering from the night before but the entire year, and taking a long pause before you tackle the rest.
Besides the atmosphere, the fashion in this issue is on point. It has to be a tough act to go back into the regular flow of the issue after the lush interiors from Kevin Wada on #23, but Jamie McKelvie is solid as usual creating fitting and believable street wear for Persephone, but also giving Minerva bright and youthful fashion befitting a 13-year-old in 2015. You have to wonder if her new fashion is a reflection of her new independent state, since she is not only without Ananke but without her parents. She also manages to be the most mature member of the Pantheon, but that’s probably to be expected with the Goddess of Wisdom.
Speaking of fashion, so much of this issue is what the kids would call “hair porn.” Persephone’s hair was the showstealer of this issue, even when it was messy the morning after a roll with Baal and Sakhmet.
However, the quiet doesn’t last for long as Persephone and Cass confront Woden, who all lay their cards on the table, leading to the most silver age-esque closing scene of the issue.
As the “Imperial Phase” begins in earnest, The Wicked + The Divine #24 is much like the day it takes place on. A deep and quiet breath before jumping into the deep end. The calm before the storm. And if the last page is any indication, there are high stakes in play in this brave new year.
Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Read
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.