THE WICKED + THE DIVINE OVERSIZED #2 BY KIERON GILLEN AND JAMIE MCKELVIE
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
The series shows what happens when good art and storytelling meld together, a fantastic example of an intricate story only a graphic novel could provide.
88 %
A modern day miracle
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There just isn’t the same kind of religious cultism as there used to be. The cults being referred to are the ones that occurred during instances of the Roman Empire. A time where many gods obtained recognition and found followers in a way that’s reminiscent of modern day stardom. Though if this kind of cultism went on today, they’d probably look something like rambunctious concerts and massive orgies. This is exactly what we see in THE WICKED + THE DIVINE.

If you haven’t read THE WICKED + THE DIVINE yet, you’re sorely missing out. This fantastical comic from the minds of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie reimages the gods of old in a modern-day setting. Only in this world, these gods appear as highly flawed young adults whose only guide appears as an old woman with murderous intent. THE WICKED + THE DIVINE OVERSIZED #2 takes some of the most thrilling aspects of the series and puts it in one convenient package for readers.

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE OVERSIZED #2 Personifies Modern Day Mythology

Up until this point in the series’ narrative, we think that Ananke is a genuinely good guy. She serves to protect the young gods and guide them through the world. Given the violence committed before THE WICKED + THE DIVINE  #12, it’s gotten harder and harder to believe her intentions are pure. At the start of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE OVERSIZED #2, we know that Ananke has killed Persephone in order to extend her own life. Killing a god supposedly extends another god’s existence, which normally lasts about two years. The Pantheon themselves are still reeling from the other deaths of their friends, Lucifer and Inanna. These youthful deities appear lost. Even with their god-like powers, they are powerless to stop their closest friends from being destroyed.

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE OVERSIZED #2
Image Courtesy of Image Comics

All of this internal drama, mixed with Ananke’s mysterious god-killing actions, leads to a greater secret that flows until the end of the issue. While some of the mystery gets unveiled by the end, the resolution only causes more questions to arise. Similar to old poems, like the ILIAD, the gods are fallible. These kids make mistakes, get into unnecessary fights, and cause trouble for those with lesser power than themselves. They let their internal drama affect the outside world and personally, I love how closely this ties to the original divine mythos. These beings contain incomprehensible power, why should they act mercifully?

LISTEN: Want a whole podcast episode dedicated to discussing THE WICKED + THE DIVINE? Check it out here!

Even Gods Can Bleed

The humanity found in the characters remains undeniable. These children have issues that far exceed their supposed divinity. Without spoiling anything, there was one particularly poignant moment in the series where one of the gods spoke about her popularity. This mostly centered around people’s reactions to her outward appearance. They focused so much on her looks, they failed to recognize how much she cared about her poetry. Her supposed fans, more or less, caused the downfall of this young woman just because they failed at seeing past her beauty and didn’t treat her with the respect they would treat any other person. In a way, a gods’ life is a highly public one, despite them being so young. They really cannot afford to do whatever they want out of fear of how they might affect other mortals.

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE OVERSIZED #2
Image Courtesy of Image Comics

Change in Art Adds Some Welcomed Variety

The biggest change between the previous issues and the ones collected in this oversized package is the art style. The sudden shift to a more cartoonish look versus the realistic aspects of the previous 11 issues might seem jarring to some, yet it fits the tone of the oversized package. The status quo of the previous issues has been upended by this point. Thus, the more stable art style no longer fits the mood of the work. Later, the art goes back to a realistic portrayal of the characters. However, at the beginning, it’s rather comforting that the artists and storyteller are in sync enough to know that the art should appear as unstable as the characters are.

READ: Uncertain if this series is for you? Check out 6 reasons why you should read THE WICKED + THE DIVINE!

Wicked Deeds Never Go Unpunished

In the end, there’s still a lot the reader does not know about this world where gods walk among men. The gods know even less about themselves than one would think, yet at the same time, it’s almost comforting. Those in power usually prefer to proclaim their infinite knowledge of the universe, and here, it’s just the opposite. They desire to know about their powers, but the characters who do know a lot, like Ananke, keep such knowledge to themselves. It’s a tale full of sound and fury and, like the gods, we are aware their conflict shall encompass all who come across it. Let’s hope they know how to put their differences aside to save the mortal realm.

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