The Wicked and the Divine is a series I am falling deeply in love with. I am concerned I may start to lose impartiality here. I'm almost wishing Kieron Gillen cocks up and releases something terrible for the sake of balance. To be fair, looking at his track record, this is historically unlikely. With a new Darth Vader comic in the works, it seems like his touch is comic gold, and issue #3 is good evidence of that. Lets get it clear. I am in no way as clever as Mr Gillen and my lame attempts at decoding his work do him a disservice, but forming conclusions from this intoxicating melange of imagery is half the fun of the series, so do please go with it.
As with every issue, the inside front cover gives a glyphic synopsis of the gods who are in the issue. I’ve learnt that Lucifer’s symbol is the five-pointed star, duh, and the lines across the symbol are in fact bars, because she is in jail (something I should have spotted last month. Damn). Very clever Mr. Gillen and, again, I love this simple way of reminding the readers about the state of play within the comic. I fully intend to mention this page every month.
We continue to follow god-fan Laura’s somewhat misguided mission to delve deeper into the mystery behind who framed Luci. Novice readers may find the interplay between Baphomet and Badb here confusing. These two are having a quibble but their crucible for argument is very public, a process many of the gods in this story seem to relish, and seemingly, the general public are merely a way for the gods to show off their powers and mythological natures. So many levels of imagery are on show here. Badb is an Irish goddess who exists in a trinity, which makes sense after several re-reads (as do her varying personas), whereas Baphomet and his satanic connotations could be confused as Vampirism. Badb’s crow motif is in full effect (as well as some very clever eye make-up) and is lovingly worked into the panel art allowing for a dark envelope of fear over the reader before the tangy flash of colour as Baphomet spurts out his fiery potence. This is a short period in time, but stretched over several panels gives a feeling of being caught in the moment, or perhaps like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Laura continues the search and, upon hitting the cliff-hanger, we are introduced to the focus for issue #4. Again, the pain of a month to wait...
Gillen’s writing is enigmatic, but also massive signposts are again on display for someone who is inclined to dig deeper and research the classical allusions. He’s a guy who doesn't insult the reader's intelligence. The manifestations of Badb, Morrigan and Annie are deeper than you might think and you should take the time to appreciate the work Gillen has put in to satisfy the mythology as well as serve the story. As always McKelvie and Wilson's art is as important as the dialogue and uses every inch of the paper as a treatise on perfection - even when they use pitch black. The Wicked and The Divine proves that it is one series where infatuation is inevitable. Just like Laura.
Issue Rating; 5/5
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