Things continue to fall apart.  Your Major Spoilers review of The Wicked + The Divine #38 awaits!

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #38

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Jamie McKelvie
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Flatter: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Chrissy Williams
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 15, 2018

Previously in The Wicked + The Divine: Ever since Persephone secretly murdered Ananke to avenge her family, it’s been awful.  Many gods are dead!  The latest being Morrigon, murdering Baphomet in a rage and then sacrificing herself to bring him back.  Meanwhile, the Norns are still captured, the world thinking them delusional.

THE TENSION IS KILLING ME

The ‘What Has Gone Before’ section of this issue stunned me right off the bat, reminding me that NO ONE in the story realizes the truth about the connection between Ananke and Minerva.  It’s an important thing to remember, as both Woden and Baal are still working with her on whatever her plan is, including accompanying Woden to find the severed heads of Tara, Inanna and Lucifer, hidden in the strange altar, now featuring extra horror in having their mouths sewn shut. With so many players on the field in this issue, it might be easy to lose track of the threads, but not so: Woden continues to undermine Cassandra’s public image with an online “documentary” about her descent into paranoia, covering for her absence.  Persephone and Baphomet recover from last issue’s battle with Morrigan, returning to the Underground, where he puts his girlfriend’s corpse(s) on display and vows to continue building the temple they had been working on.  His rants convince Persephone to make a move, while Minerva finds out that she’s pregnant, and the issue ends with an attempt to find her that fails, ending with a really ominous phrase.

“PERSEPHONE DOESN’T EXIST.”

So, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that I love this comic book dearly.  McKelvie’s art this issue is once again lovely, detailed and emotional, especially in the flashbacks to Ananke’s previous life (lives?)  The flashbacks feel authentic and well-sourced in terms of fashion, hairstyle and architecture, making the shift to modern times even more impressive.  The reveal of Baphomet/Nergal’s temple in the darkness is breathteaking.  Gillen’s script manages to reveal tiny bits of information here and there, and perhaps the most important part is that the creators successfully make a moment where a character finds out something that READERS ALREADY KNOW somehow still be shocking.  Add in the perfectly characterized voices, the looks of horror on the god-heads with their sewn-up mouths and the look on Persephone’s face as she makes her afterlife-altering decision is so real and so perfect that I’m even more scared for her.

BOTTOM LINE: ANOTHER STRONG OUTING

We’re clearly nearing the end-game for WicDiv and as much as I worry for everyone’s safety, I desperately want to see all the terrible things that are about to happen to them.  The Wicked + The Divine #38 is an issue full of revelations and shocking character moments that is beautifully drawn and masterfully written, and I want the next issue now, please, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.  This is the kind of book that I want an annotated Absolute Edition of so that I can delve deeper into everything happening…

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #38

Writing
Art
Coloring

Complex, deep and emotional. We're reaching a tipping point, and there's nowhere to go but down, but I'm fascinated by the descent.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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