As we approach the end of the second WicDiv story cycle, with the upcoming ‘Fandemonium’ trade due to be released in the beginning of July, are we to expect events to take a turn for the melodramatic? Definitely. Issue 9 starts to reveal more about the Pantheon and is full of surprises, as always. Can Gillen beat the exciting and heart breaking plot twist of Lucifer’s death? Almost certainly.
Issue 9 presents us with a change of scenery and focus in terms of character. Issue 8 was a euphoric, godly high, blazing with colour, happiness and hope, whereas the mood here is more foreboding. The reader is aware of an ominous build up to a cataclysm. The gods are feeling mortal, and the pressure of their short lifespan is building. We take a step away from Laura in this issue, with her only bookending the comic, but her part in all this is still very important, showing how connected she is to the central story.
Minerva is miserable, Baphomet is inevitably maudlin and Cassandra, who is visiting Ananke to undertake a very rare interview is skeptical as ever. The interview, however is a vehicle that allows Gillen to expose the mysterious back story of the group of gods we have been following. This is incredibly exciting, as it is revealing, and allows Ananke to describe the burden she has had to bear as well as help with Cassandra’s investigation into Lucifer’s death.
This is an issue for the plot pickers, it gives the reader a chance to understand the motivations of the previous Pantheons, but opens our eyes to Ananke’s ultimate purpose. The next plot twist, when it comes is, again, powerful and affecting. It’s a proper ‘oh….shit’ moment that successfully carries weight and portent. More importantly being the penultimate comic in the current story arc, it is exciting knowing there is more to come. As always I have to reach for Google to understand what is going on, but I still enjoy doing this research to understand Gillen’s constructed mythos, and is strongly recommended to understand the little references in the scenery of the comic as well as the various classical allusions mentioned.
As usual WicDiv 9 is trademark McKelvie beautiful, with some interesting variety of art style to show detail in Ananke’s exposé. Clever things are done with her palace, where she sits to meet Cassandra, and the impermanence of the structure around her, drawn in minimalist glowing sketches, adds to the ephemeral nature of her existence. There is a feeling that we are at a cross-roads, where the gods' realms meet and collide and the vagueness of the structure adds to the general mood of unease.
Issue 9 is too revelatory to describe in detail without spoiling it, but it is a great linking episode, wrapping up the previous issues well but also showing that the story has only just begun. I am very much looking forward to issue 10, but I don’t think Laura is...
The Wicked + The Divine #9 can be bought in print and digital from Image Comics from the 25th of February