“If you exist, you’re staring at me.”: The Wicked + The Divine, Issue Thirteen

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THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #13 IMAGE COMICS
ARTIST: TULA LOTAY WRITER: KIERON GILLEN
BONUS ART: JAMIE MCKELVIE & MATTHEW WILSON LETTERER: CLAYTON COWLES
DESIGNER: SERGIO SERRANO EDITOR: CHRISSY WILLIAMS

(Spoilers!)

Compared to many forms of media, comic books (and books in general) have one feature many can’t advocate: immersion. When you’re reading a comic, you have to hold it in your hand, to study it, to linger on it, to briefly become part of it. As more and more comics go digital, one would think that feature would unfortunately fade- but not if the creators of The Wicked + The Divine are going to help it. With guest artist Tula Lotay, Kieron Gillen and the rest of Team WicDiv spend this month’s issue exploring the elusive Tara, previously unseen- and with it they present a terrifying, somber look at our world today, particularly the natures of fandom and social media, using a number of clever formatting tricks to truly help us understand who Tara is.

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Left Behind: The Wicked + The Divine, Issue Twelve

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THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #12 IMAGE COMICS
ARTIST: KATE BROWN WRITER: KIERON GILLEN
BONUS ART: JAMIE MCKELVIE & MATTHEW WILSON LETTERER: CLAYTON COWLES
DESIGNER: HANNAH DONOVAN EDITOR: CHRISSY WILLIAMS

(Spoilers!)

It’s an odd time for The Wicked + The DivineThe end of its first year wasn’t just the end of a year of issues- it was truly the end of the book as the readers knew it, as it suddenly killed off its narrator and another main character and permanently altered the expectations of its readers. To have usual artists Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson take a break now may seem odd, but as it turns out, it’s an excellent choice going into the book’s third arc, Commercial Suicide. Not only does it reflect the book’s shift in perspective to a different cast of characters, but it’s also a reflection of how the book has expanded its scope. In fact, this month, the focus isn’t even on the death of Laura- it’s on the aftermath of Inanna’s death, through the eyes of both the people who cared for them personally and the people who just want to soak up the gossipy aftermath.

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We Only Have Each Other: The Wicked + The Divine, Issue Ten

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THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #10 IMAGE COMICS
ARTIST: JAMIE MCKELVIE WRITER: KIERON GILLEN
COLORIST: MATTHEW WILSON LETTERER: CLAYTON COWLES
DESIGNER: HANNAH DONOVAN EDITOR: CHRISSY WILLIAMS

The cover of this month’s The Wicked + The Divine is simultaneously misleading and appropriate. There’s no literal blood spilt in this issue, despite Baphomet’s attempts for that to happen- but there’s a lot bled metaphorically, in terms of both character development and plot advancement. We’re reaching the end of WicDiv‘s second volume, and in finale fashion we’re getting both answers and payoff for many of the things it’s built up over the last ten issues. While WicDiv hasn’t previously strayed from physical confrontations and bombastic shows of power, #10 seems to save that for next month, focusing instead on the emotional growth of the characters.

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This Is A Gift: The Wicked + The Divine, Issue Nine

Untitled Interviewers have a pretty tough job. Nobody can deny that today’s media runs on controversy; there’s a reason we’re always talking about the latest celebrity breakup or party fiasco. It means an interviewer can’t be kind- if they want to be successful, they’ve got to tear apart everyone they run across. Cassandra is excellent at this, for a number of reasons, chief of which being her own history with the gods. She’s openly bitter about her inability to feel the god’s powers despite her years of anticipation for their arrival, and it means there’s a personal slant to her interview with Ananke, one that ends in a way that few would have anticipated. Continue reading

The Party At The End of the World: The Wicked + The Divine, Issue Eight

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We’ve seen “1-2-3-4” a figurative million times in WicDiv before; I’m sure hundreds of readers have had the beat of their favorite song irreversibly changed by its new association with exploding heads. We’ve seen those numbers in reference to the Pantheon’s godly feats often enough that it’s easy to forget their musical origins, but this month’s issue loosens up a bit, bringing it into the forefront. It’s an experimental issue that takes a concept- split up what would normally be a set of eight panel pages by making every other panel a number, representing the beat of a song- and makes it something massive, bombastic, and loud, primarily thanks to the coloring of Matthew Wilson.

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The Truth is the Last Thing Anyone Cares About: The Wicked + The Divine, Issue Seven

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Sleater-Kinney released an album called No Cities To Love on Tuesday. This is relevant to WicDiv for two reasons; one, I first discovered Sleater-Kinney through the official WicDiv playlist, and two, it’s hard not to conflate an album with lines like “Exhume our idols! Bury our friends!” with this book. With that said, it’s interesting that this issue of The Wicked + The Divine takes that idea and turns it on its head. In this story, we’re killing our idols- we were from the first issue- and we don’t have friends (it’s better to have enemies, as Laura would say). The way people react to fame is at the forefront of this issue as Laura becomes a VIP guest at the convention London Fantheon, and for an issue where she’s surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people, her special status marks it with moments of surprising intimacy.

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