The Wicked + The Divine #41 // Review
Battle lines are drawn in The Wicked + The Divine #41, by writer Kieron Gillen, artist Jamie McKelvie, colorist Matthew Wilson, and letterer Clayton Cowles. For long time fans of the series, this issue has some nice surprises waiting while also perfectly setting the table for what comes next.
As Baal, Woden, and Minerva mobilize to find Laura, she breaks into their new base and rescues the Norns, Mimir, and the heads of Lucifer, Innana, and Tara that Minerva and Ananke have hidden. She takes them to the Underground, to the temple Baphomet built for the Morrigan, and gets them ready for war. Cassandra decides to scry for The Great Darkness finally and everyone awaits her answers.
This issue seems deceptively light, but there’s a lot going on in it. Again, Gillen keeps the big confrontations to a minimum; there’s no huge fight between the estranged members of the Pantheon when Laura goes to free the imprisoned gods. The meat of the book comes from the secrets revealed to the characters, the plans being made, and a couple of big time reincarnations bringing back some characters that fans may (or may not) have missed. The reader doesn’t really learn anything new, Gillen even ends the book on the Cassandra saying she finally knows what to look for when looking for the Great Darkness, but everything is so masterfully done, it doesn’t really matter. The book is chock full of enough entertaining developments and the ending cliffhanger is so perfect that this is still a very satisfying read.
Readers get to find out more about Laura’s diminished state, which hasn’t been explained, but is an interesting development. As Persephone, Laura was one of the more powerful gods, but since the end of the last arc, she’s withdrawn from her powers and her miracles don’t always work as well as they used to. However, she’s still instrumental in saving the imprisoned gods, but also talking Baphomet into helping them instead of indulging in a very Goth cycle of suicide and rebirth with the Morrigan. As always, Laura is the glue of this book, the connective tissue that makes the whole thing run and it works so well. Readers have been with her since the beginning and watched her grow into the person she’s become. Character development like this is refreshing and Gillen is a master of it.
What is there to say about Jamie McKelvie’s art that hasn’t been said before? HIs character work is perfect. His expressions and acting are perfect. His pencils are detailed and kinetic. However, without colorist Matthew Wilson, something would be missing. There’s lot of color changes throughout this issue as the books jumps to different locales and Wilson never misses a beat. From sci-fi prisons to Gothic underground temples, his colors are the perfect addition to McKelvie’s pencils.
The Wicked + The Divine #41 pumps the brakes just a tad but still delivers some impressive moments for readers and sets the perfect hook to keep them coming back for the next issue. The creative team is working at the highest possible level, delivering a story that once again rises above the rest with its pitch perfect characterization and plot. The only bad thing is that there are only three issues left.