As a series, the Wicked + The Divine does much to progress the story quickly and cleverly. As always it is difficult to dig too deep and spoil the surprise for the reader, but there is so much happening at the microscopic level it is important to scour each page for hidden detail. The highlight of issue 10 is in the subtly of the artwork. The narrative focuses more on Baphomet and Laura and Gillen et al tell more with less, even in the opening panels. Look for the glimmer in the dark as Baphomet scowls, or the surprise of discovering characters who show no surprise when they should. Try and spot, too, the clever reference to my favourite opening chapter glyphs in the gorgeous Hyde Park double page spread. It is the little clues that are used here to titiliate the reader and make us feel important and intelligent when we discover them.
Again I never tire of Wilson’s pin-sharp high contrast neons, and we see much more action as the second story arc draws to an exciting conclusion. The fact that this entire issue occurs at night, gives Wilson a chance to laser-slice his colours into our hearts once more, and the pages are particularly striking, especially when the gods decide to flex their mythical muscles. One page in particular is such a shocking thematic departure it does exactly as intended, and causes the readers heart to skip a beat.
Laura is so very close to finding out who murdered Lucifer, and the high of achieving her goal is marred by the realisation that she will always be mortal. It is this conflict that is so important and shows how the grass is always greener. A running theme for the gods themselves is how little time they have left on this plane of existence, how desperate they are to live beyond the two year time frame they have before the cycle repeats once more, yet Laura would give up her life for this. One thing is certain; her motivation for godhood is very different to others, a fact that may be important later on in the series. This motivation is twisted and interpreted elsewhere in the story and forms the structure of the events that happen over the next few pages, ultimately affecting Baphomet’s fate.
And speaking of fate, what of Cassandra? Now she is Urðr, one of the three Norse Norns and has power over the destiny of her fans, how much influence can she really have over the events that pass? Is it intentional that Gillen placed her in this role? After all, as a reporter and a person involved in media with control over how people perceive the events of the world, was this choice a happy coincidence? Whatever happens, Issue 10 leaves us wondering the fate not just of the people, but of the gods too. Who wants to live forever?
The Wicked + The Divine #10 can be bought in print and digital from Image Comics from the 6th of May