After the events of Fandemonium, The Wicked and The Divine has been largely focused on exploring the stories of individual gods. Issue twelve began a string of issues drawn by guest artists, dealing more with the fallout of Inanna and Laura’s deaths rather than advancing the plot. There were few revelations in twelve other than Baal professing his love for Inanna.
In retrospect, this was the calm before the storm, as issue thirteen showed us more of Tara–talented and quiet, but constantly tormented online–and promptly killed her. Tula Lotay’s art was a credit to this issue. Visually, it’s a beautiful issue, coming off as much softer than Jamie McKelvie’s clean lines. (Of course, I have absolutely nothing against McKelvie. His art is on a whole other level.)
The content and themes of online harassment–though “harassment” doesn’t seem a strong enough word–is better suited for discussing at length in another post. The theme of famous people as being commodities to be consumed by their fans was brought up in thirteen and carries over to issue fourteen, which focuses on Woden.
Woden has been relatively unexplored as a character so far. What little readers have seen of him was at the Fantheon, when Woden was nearly killed by one of his Valkyries. So far, Woden has come off as kind of a sexist jerk. He has power to grant others power, and isn’t shy about using it to create more Valkyries. His other strength lies in crafting, but Woden struggles with not having anything that makes him “special” like the other gods.
Overall, this issue raised more questions than it answered. Jamie McKelvie was back on art, because much of the issue was created using art from previous chapters (plus that one issue of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals.) It was fitting that the Daft Punk-EDM-techno artist Woden got a “remixed” issue. The concept was innovative and interesting and the WicDiv team pulled it off well. It worked because it gave a different perspective on previous events while revealing more about Woden as a character.
While there are still many, many questions to be answered, readers did learn a few things:
- Ananke definitely, for sure, 100% killed Laura and Inanna.
- Woden has a fetish for Asian girls who are taller than him.
- Woden is also hiding something or someone from Ananke (the mysterious horn-helmeted person on the last page.)
This issue also featured a lot of Ananke, who, in actual mythological terms, is the most powerful of the fates. She hates Woden, calling him “living shit” and “the pet of a god.” She also implies that many of Woden’s actions have been things she’s blackmailed him into doing.
Toward the end of the issue, Ananke says, “I must act more swiftly than I would normally risk,” in reference to killing another member of the Pantheon. For the first time, I as a reader questioned the two year limitation on the gods’ residency, if it was entirely Ananke’s doing and if so, why.
Lastly, Woden says that three gods have been killed and that there will soon be a fourth. However, his countdown doesn’t include Laura. Was Laura really of the Pantheon, or was her death a cruel trick by Ananke, who gave her that moment of happiness just so she could take it away. Again, this makes me wonder if having twelve gods is the way Ananke wants it, or if there can be any number of gods and if she can grant power to anyone she chooses.
The next issue will be released October 15, with art by Stephanie Hans.