With Lucifer dead at the hand of one of her fellow Wicked/Diviners, Laura (once nothing but a superfan) has found herself incredibly famous and possibly in possession of superpowers. Having been given a vision of what might come next, she is now ready to pursue the fruits of fame for reasons of her own. Your Major Spoilers review of The Wicked + The Divine #7 awaits!
Previously in The Wicked + The Divine: “Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critically thermonuclear floor-fillers Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to start a new ongoing superhero fantasy with a beautiful oversized issue. Welcome to THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, where gods are the ultimate pop stars. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.”
“I’M A GOD, NOT A SAINT.”
Y’know, I’m kind of a sucker for an artsy, romantic narrative, and really a teenage goth girl at heart, so I really enjoy Laura, the central character of our WicDev story, as she watches the milling crowds from the top of the convention center where Fantheon (Heh) is being held. She and Inanna (named for the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility and warfare, a great combination) discuss what they know: Two fans conspired to try to murder Lucifer. It’s a strong sequence, made even stronger by the representation of the convention itself, as Laura views the masses of convention-goers as a gray, faceless mob, while we get a look at Woden (named for one of the iterations of Norse/Germanic Odin), who has only appeared briefly in the book thus far.
He is a complete @$$hole. He even talks about how he tried to be a “Nice Guy”, but now is just gonna do whatever it is he wants, because he’s going to die in two years and he might possibly have maimed himself in an attempt to get powers on the level of the other gods. If you want to have your breath taken away by a sequence of events involving one of his former handmaidens, what may be a magical armored suit, and a very brutal display of “The Prometheus Gambit.”
ELEVEN OUT OF TWELVE
Still, it’s a great character issue, with lovely art and coloring, especially in Woden’s glowing armor and accoutrements, and fascinating moments with Laura, Woden, Baphomet and (briefly) Baal and Minerva, who have an uncharacteristically tender moment. All of this builds through the first story, while the second half of the issue (which is structured like Gillen & McKelvie’s previous Phonogram “B-side” stories) reveals to us who the eleventh god is: Dionysius, The Dance Floor That Walks Like A Man. There is a super-creative and unnerving panel sequence featuring a descent into the underworld, and a beautiful map of the convention floor, both of which call attention to the care taken by the creators to make every detail as meaningful and visually distinctive as possible. The overarching plot stays pretty much unchanged this issue, but the amount of detail, dialogue and character more than make up for it, giving readers more things to analyze, obsess and head-canon over.
THE BOTTOM LINE: REALLY GOOD STUFF
The best part of this issue is that all of the things that I expected DIDN’T happen, while all of the things I didn’t expect were equally as cool (or cooler) than anything I had expected. The depiction of the huge convention was spot-on, the character work was lovely, and I greatly enjoyed the super-expressive character work, especially the side-bits (Morrigan and Baphomet fading into the shadows near the end of the issue was both perfect and terrifying.) McKelvie and colorist Matthew Wilson outdo themselves with Woden’s visuals, as well, leading The Wicked + The Divine #7 to land a damn-near perfect 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. If you want to see talented creators stretching the boundaries of what a comic book story can do and be, this is a book for you…