THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #41 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson
Kieron Gillen has strong storytelling that keeps the reader loving and hating characters, and keeps the reader interested. Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson's combined efforts create breathtaking, attractive, and vibrant characters. Overall, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #41 is a solid read and does well to continue the plot from where we left off in the previous issue.
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THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #41 gives us Laura Wilson rescuing her accomplices. Kieron Gillen’s storytelling is full of layers, making it a complex story but not a complex read. With the combined work of artist Jamie McKelvie and colorist Matthew Wilson, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE as a whole is vibrant and appealing to the eye. THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #41 is a solid issue, moving us closer to defeating Ananke.

It’s Hard Not to Enjoy Kieron Gillen’s Storytelling

Gillen creates a highly layered story. Finding out that Minerva was Ananke all along adds more speculation to just how powerful she might be. Learning that Ananke had a sister thousands of years ago and eventually murdered her creates a whole new question on why she would do that instead of trying to convince her sister to kill gods and live forever with her. Perhaps they were not very close. These layers create depth and evolution for each character. The more information we’ve gathered on our characters, the more the reader either loves or hates them.

The Wicked + The Divine #41
Image courtesy of Image Comics.

The most admirable part of Gillen’s storytelling is Laura’s interaction with particular characters, as well as Cassandra and Dionysus’s identities and possible relationship. Laura is the most interesting character. She starts off human, turns goddess, then turns human again (or so we think). It seems when we first meet Laura, she might be a decent person. However, once she meets the gods, Laura becomes the ultimate anti-hero.

Laura struggles with her moral code throughout the series. She helps lying gods, sleeps with Baphomet and Baal, and begins killing people whether it’s “reasonable” or not. We see her character shift and change, which forces the reader to change their perspectives of her. Cassandra and Dionysus are equally fascinating. Cassandra is a trans woman who likes women and yet seems to have feelings for Dionysus. Dionysus is an asexual man who’s in love with Cassandra. Unfortunately, up to this point, they never get together.

However, the idea of Cassandra and Dionysus together seems unique in the comic world. You don’t normally hear about a primarily lesbian woman and an asexual man being shipped. Having Cassandra and Dionysus together furthers the comic world in being progressive with the times. This gesture shows acceptance and creates more representation.

Vibrant and Eye-Catching Art

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE is so colorful, the art pops right off the page. Jamie McKelvie captures what gods might look like if they were real. Each god is drawn slender with piercing eyes and well-defined features. Basically, each character is like a modern-day supermodel with divine powers. This reader’s favorite drawn characters are Baphomet and Lucifer. Both of them look the part of the baddie. Both Lucifer and Baphomet are drawn in an almost angelic way, yet they’re both derived from Satanic religion.

Historically, the most well-known image of Baphomet is the “Sabbatic Goat” by French occultist Éliphas Lévi.  Lévi meant for Baphomet to contain opposites all in one image. Baphomet has a male body with female breasts and symbolizes good and evil, as well as light and darkness. McKelvie created her version of Baphomet with dark hair and very pale, fair skin to at least bring out the light and dark aspect. The goat head necklace pays homage to Lévi‘s popular image.

Lucifer is a bit more complex. There are multiple depictions and viewpoints regarding Lucifer. In Greek mythology, Lucifer is a small angelic boy and is also referred to as the “Morning-Star.” Christians, in a general sense see Lucifer as a man with small horns, hooves for feet, and large wings. The best depiction comes from French artist Paul Gustave Doré. Where McKelvie conjured the idea to make Lucifer a woman is beyond comprehension. Not that her depiction is bad at all, it’s difficult to determine where the inspiration comes from.

The Wicked + The Divine #41
Image courtesy of Image Comics.

Color is also important to this discussion. Matthew Wilson uses powerful and vibrant color on each character. For example, Laura has gorgeous brown skin and delicate colored freckles. The most eye-catching part of Laura is when she’s Persephone and she has two-toned blue hair that matches her blue eyes. Laura’s colored in such a unique, creative, and attractive way — all eyes are on her. With that said, the creative team centered their design on keeping readers eyes on Laura.

What’s Next in THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #42?

After what we saw at the end of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #41, it seems like we’ll delve more into the Great Darkness and who/what it is. What are your speculations about it? Will Ananke get herself a fourth head? What about Laura? She’s not a god anymore, yet she can still conjure fire, what gives? Kieron Gillen has teased that the end of the series is coming up. With two arcs left, anything could happen. All this and more will hopefully be answered soon.

Keep up with the darkness, magic, and wickedness in THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #42 coming to you soon!

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