This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Spencer: One of the most common complaints about prequels is that everyone “already knows the ending,” but sometimes that inevitability can be an asset. Take The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual 1, for example. Writer Kieron Gillen and a bevy of talented guest artists fill the special with tales from the early days of the Pantheon. Most are fairly sweet and upbeat in isolation, but when viewed in context with the events that follow, suddenly become much more bittersweet. The inevitable history these characters must someday face creates extra layers of meaning for each story, making the special as a whole that much richer. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 26, originally released February 8, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Spencer: Set in the aftermath of Ananke’s death, “Imperial Phase (Part 1)” has been an arc all about figuring out what to do next. Last month’s cliffhanger finally presented a tangible threat in the form of the Great Darkness (or at least some of its agents), but if you thought that’d be enough to unite the Pantheon against a common enemy, you’d be sadly mistaken. The Wicked + The Divine 26 finds these gods as divided and lost as ever…and perhaps suggests that’s the way they’re meant to be? Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Shane Patrick are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 19, originally released May 4th, 2016.
Spencer: For a series about literal gods, The Wicked + The Divine has spent very little time exploring the idea of “belief.” I suppose that makes sense — these gods exist whether you believe in them or not, and probably care little either way. Issue 19 doesn’t change that, but it does explore belief in an entirely different context. With the Pantheon now split into two warring camps, each member’s loyalties seem to depend on which figurehead’s story they believe the most. Fascinatingly, though, writer Kieron Gillen seems to be hinting that neither Ananke nor Persephone can be trusted — or, at the least, both are hiding something big. Trying to discern the truth adds a lot of depth to this (already exciting) storyline. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 18, originally released April 6th, 2016.
Spencer: The Wicked + The Divine is back after a nearly four month absence, and regular artists Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson have returned to the title after an even longer break. Not a single member of the creative team misses a beat, leaping headfirst into the title’s most action packed story yet, and one that draws deeply upon all the lore and characterization writer Kieron Gillen’s established in the past 17 issues. The Wicked + The Divine18 never holds back and never slows down, so neither shall I. Let’s dive right in. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 11, originally released June 3rd, 2015.
Mr. Ross: Firestorm, that’s a hell of a picture. Remember when they had the helicopter land on top of that car —
Frank Costanza: Hey! I haven’t seen it yet!
Mr. Ross: It has nothing to do with the plot!
Frank Costanza: Still, I like to go in fresh!
Seinfeld, “The Rye”
Drew: I wouldn’t say my girlfriend has a lot in common with Frank Costanza, but she also prefers to “go in fresh” to narratives. For her, any information beyond the barest gist of the genre and mood constitutes a spoiler. Of course, I’ve always been on the opposite end of the spoiler spectrum — because I’m most interested in how the story is told, knowing plot points ahead of time can’t “spoil” the experience. Every so often though, I’ll encounter a twist so shocking that I have to admit I’m glad I didn’t know it was coming. Which is to say, when I say that you should only read on if you’ve already read The Wicked + The Divine 11, I really mean it. Seriously: spoilers after the jump. Continue reading →
Today, Suzanne and Spencer Spencer and Drew are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 6, originally released December 17th, 2014.Spencer: I’ve gone to a lot of shows by myself over the last couple of years, but it’s rare that I’m ever lonely. I am not a bold or outgoing person, but there’s something about knowing that the majority of the people in that building all love the same band I do that makes it easier to reach out and make new friends. That’s what I love about fan culture, how shared love of a show or book or band can bring strangers together, be it in person or online. Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to fan culture, be it pretentious elitists who believe their way of loving a piece of media is the only “right” way or gatekeepers who want to push out anybody they don’t want in their fandom, often resorting to violent or illegal means. The Wicked + The Divine 6 marks the beginning of a new storyline, one which Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie already seem eager on using to explore the darker side of fan culture. See, it turns out that not all of the Pantheon’s fans are as loyal or level-headed as our Laura… Continue reading →
Today, Suzanne and Spencer are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 5, originally released October 22nd, 2014.
Suzanne: Comic book solicitations bring out my cynical side. How can they so casually throw around phrases like “changed forever,” “new status quo” and “earth-shattering events”? Does every sentence need to end with an exclamation point?! I get that their purpose is for marketing and selling comics, really I do. But the end result is that readers expect instant gratification each month. Some of us lose sight of the bigger picture — story arcs need time to build dramatic tension and not every issue will (or should) end in a cliffhanger or a climactic moment. I’d go a step further and argue that smaller moments can be equally important to character and plot development.
The Wicked + The Divine 5 effortlessly combines shocking, “game changing” events with softer character reactions. The first four issues of this series laid the groundwork for this departure. Gillen and McKelvie gave readers hints of what these gods were capable of like Sakhmet’s fierce, primal aggression. But this issue invokes an awe and apprehension in readers that mirrors Laura’s fangirl reaction to The Pantheon. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Suzanne are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 4, originally released September 17th, 2014.
Spencer: Last year I had the privilege of spending a day working as a roadie for my favorite band, Saves the Day. I was extremely fortunate that the guys in Saves lived up to my expectations; they’re probably the nicest, most genuine guys I know and went out of their way to make me feel comfortable, but even so, spending time backstage with them and their crew felt like entering a strange new world, with culture and customs all their own. I couldn’t help but think about this while reading Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s The Wicked + The Divine 4, as Laura gets to spend time in the private world of her idols. But while I had the best day of my life, Laura seems to walk away from the experience in much deeper trouble than when she started. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and (guest writer) Shane are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 3, originally released August 20th, 2014.
Spencer: When Patrick and I would discuss Young Avengers, our articles would often turn into debates about whether the dialogue was “too clever” or not (I’m thinking of this article in particular). I’ve personally always thought that something being “too clever” wasn’t possible — I love distinctive, clever dialogue and prefer that to dialogue that tries to be realistic and instead comes across as bland or boring — but I admit I caught myself thinking “man, this might be too clever for it’s own good” once or twice as I read The Wicked + The Divine 3. Fortunately, I think there’s some sound, character-based reasons for the “cleverness” of the cast (specifically Morrigan and Baphomet) that helps to inform how the title’s pantheon view themselves compared to the world at large — and how the world at large views them. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing The Wicked + The Divine 1, originally released June 18th, 2014.
Spencer: There’s a reason they call pop stars “idols.” I’ve been to concerts that were essentially religious experiences to many in the crowd; whether it’s their larger than life style or the way they can connect with their listeners, pop stars (as well as many other musicians and celebrities) have, unintentionally or not, set themselves up as a new pantheon of modern-day deities. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie have hit plot beats similar to this before with Phonogram — where music is magic — but in The Wicked + The Divine 1, they literally turn gods into pop stars, complete with concerts-as-masses and a snazzy 1-2-3-4 whenever they display their gifts. It seems to be a pretty apt look into modern-day spirituality. Continue reading →