The Wicked + The Divine Book Three (2018)
Reprints The Wicked + The Divine #23 – 33
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson
This penultimate volume in The Wicked + The Divine series is my favorite of the series. It jumps into a completely new realm with the death that capped off the last book. To shake things, the first issue in this collection is a mock-up of fake magazine articles about each member of the Pantheon, giving some much-needed depth and background to these characters. I always love when a creator plays with the format of their comic, like Grant Morrison’s Batman run and Jonathan Hickman’s current X-work. Things get back to the standard form with the next issue, but the status quo is shaken up.
Persephone is at the center of everything now, guiding the rest of the Pantheon down this new path. The whole dying in two years idea is now questioned, and there’s an idea that they could simply live forever. Persephone is overcome with her new power, which leads her into shallow relationships with Sakhmet and Baal. Minerva becomes a more prominent character and starts speaking up more, telling Persephone she’s wrong. Cassandra becomes the character most on the right track, investigating things that were happening behind the scenes that still don’t make sense. The mystery of who framed Lucifer still hangs over everybody’s heads.
Where Book Two felt like it went adrift, losing the plot and just sort of examining characters as they interacted, this collection is nothing but massive plot and character revelations. We start to understand the role Ananke was playing in ushering in the gods every century, yet are still trying to figure out her purpose for it all. Lines of who are villains begin to emerge with Odin and Sakhmet truly becoming antagonists for very different reasons and with varying agendas.
Persephone’s relationships seem to cloud her from paying attention to the big stuff happening right under her nose. Baal appears to be the one person she feels guilty about being with and taking advantage of, though Baphomet becomes a victim because he steps out with the goddess. Sakhmet is just an empty physical experience while she almost has a platonic intimacy with Cassandra.
As with every volume, there is an ending that dumps significant revelations on the reader. Certain things the reader probably felt they had a good handle on have gone entirely out the window. We learn more about that strange machine Ananke was keeping and planned on putting Minerva through. The mysterious Odin has some huge secrets revealed. Persephone finally shifts her attention after doing some things you might think are pretty wrong. Everything gets set up for what promises to be an epic conclusion, and it feels like the bodies will be stacking up in the end.
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