Since being introduced in 2014, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's The Wicked + The Divine has become one of the finest creator-owned titles around. Telling the story of twelve gods returning to the mortal plane to live out the latest chapter in an endless ballet of death and tragedy, the series has established itself as being one of the freshest and indeed most authentic comic books around, with Gillen and McKelvie doing well to avoid tired clichés that have often pervaded comic book depictions of young adults.
Issue 32 marks the fourth part of Imperial Phase II, and picks up immediately after Sakhmet (spoiler!) killed Amaterasu. Elsewhere, Dionysus works to recover his hivemind powers from Woden (Divine's venerable 's**thead god'), and yeah, everything goes a bit pear-shaped, really. Persephone isn't in a good way, and the issue ends on a particularly dramatic note, reiterating that Imperial Phase II really is one of the most exciting arcs of the run thus far.
WicDiv's fans are sure to be left reeling from the issue's finale, but all the same, the next issue literally cannot get here soon enough.
The Wicked + The Divine is one of Image Comics' best and brightest series, and continues to be one of Gillen's finest works yet. It's funny, youthful, energetic, and despite the whole god thing, very very good at nailing the voices of its young cast.
McKelvie's art is brilliant as always, but it really is difficult to overstate just how refreshing it is to see an artist actually keep up to date with fashion trends, and make their characters look like they actually exist in the here and now, rather than in some bizarre portal to 2003.
In more than one way, WicDiv is at the cutting edge of the medium as it now exists. It's smart, funny, and - certainly in this issue's case - totally dramatic. While that bright and colourful veneer might look enticing enough, what lies beneath is a series as gripping, violent and authentic as myths and legends of old. It's just brilliant, and while this isn't the best place to jump onto the book, it gets harder and harder with each passing week to not be in on the WicDiv hype.
What's that? We have to wait another month for #33? God. Dammit.
What did you think of The Wicked + The Divine's latest issue? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!