A wise man once said, “Fame, it’s the flame that burns your change to keep you insane…”
I don’t know what that means, exactly, but I can’t help but find it germane to this issue. Your Major Spoilers review of The Wicked + The Divine #13 awaits!
THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #13
Writer: Keiron Gillen
Artist: Tula Lotay/Jamie McKelvie
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Chrissy Williams
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
Previously in The Wicked + The Divine: “Every ninety years, twelve gods return as young people. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are all dead. It’s happening now. It’s happening again. Lucifer was killed when escaping prison (for a murder she may or may not have committed). Fangirl Laura and god Inanna investigated a possible conspiracy, but were murdered by Ananke and Baphomet respectively. Innana’s ex-lover Baal attempts to hunt down Baphomet, but only manages to capture Baphomet’s lover, The Morrigan. Almost killing her, he drags her back to the Pantheon’s Valhalla.
Life goes on.”
We open with first-person narration from the god Tara (whose origins are unclear, as even she doesn’t know which of the various Tara deities she represents) explaining a bit of how her life as celebrity/rock star/public figure goes. “If life has taught me anything, it’s that I’m here for other people’s pleasure.” It’s a sentiment that hurts to read, but Gillen’s script grabs that knife and continues to twist it throughout. Tara is a conflicted artist-type, who wants to sing her songs, but the crowds only want her with the whole god-magic thing. Most terrible of all is a view of Tara’s Twitter account, endless variations of abuse, threats and derision, cycling into infinity. There’s a very important scene in the Pantheon where we finally get more interaction with all the extant gods together (save for Morrigan, who is healing from a serious beating, and Baphomet, who is on the run) leading into the issue’s big reveal: Her dialogue has actually been a suicide note.
WHAT IS [REDACTED]’S END GAME?
If you’ve been keeping up with WicDiv (as the cool kids seem to call it, by which I mean “the creators”), you will probably know exactly who puts the terrible events into motion, but there’s still not much to go on as to what that character’s motivations actually are. The last few pages of main story are once again Tara’s Twitter feed, reflecting her transformation from mocking and rape threats to awkward adulation, a really powerful three-page spread. Tula Lotay’s art is wonderful throughout the issue, especially her mastery of facial expression, equal to that of regular artist Jamie McKelvie (who has a one-page backup in these pages, as well.) When Gillen announced that they would be doing an entire arc of guest-artists, I was concerned, as it didn’t seem wise for a story so tied to McKelvie’s signature style to take such a risk. Thankfully this issue (and last) prove that my worries were unfounded, and both work well within the existing framework of the story.
THE BOTTOM LINE: RECOMMENDED
I’ve been really impressed with this book from the beginning, and this issue is no exception, even as I get more and more anxious about all the symbols still left in that circle of 12 that opens and closes the book. The Wicked + The Divine #13 is a tough issue to read, in the good way, with lovely and nuanced art and a final act punch that sticks with you, earning a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars overall. While there’s still a great deal of mystery in these pages, I’m more than hooked enough to stick it out for the long haul until the story resolves itself…