I’ve often mused, throughout the entire run of The Wicked and The Divine, that just when the series seems poised to disappear up its own $#@%*^!, something intriguing happens and the series gets back on course. The Wicked and The Divine #26 is definitely an upswing in the right direction, but it still has a monumental problem to deal with.
And that problem continues to be Persephone. Each issue makes this character less and less interesting, and more and more one-dimensional. I cannot stress enough that this is not a good thing for the series. The character’s story beats are becoming woefully predictable, as every issue is following the same arc: Persephone looks like she wants to help with something, Persephone gets skulls in her eyes and attacks something, Persephone has a crisis of conscience, Persephone warns someone she’s not good, Persephone ends by alluding to doing something terrible. Every. Issue.
Fortunately, The Wicked and The Divine #26 has enough going on otherwise to elevate the continued harping on Persephone. Being gods and young adults has done these characters no favors as they are continually struggling with two selfish, “me-centric” mentalities in one body. As such, communication amongst the Pantheon has been less than stellar throughout the series. Baal has long hinted that he may know more about the Darkness than everyone else, but it’s finally revealed that he knows much more.
In fact, he and Amaterasu know much more than they’ve let on. Which, naturally, leads to some unexpected conversations. Once again, the gods continue to bicker and argue over what should be done, and above all is a sense of secrecy and betrayal at said secrecy, hindering them from actually doing anything about this looming threat outside their door. In fact, it’s shocking to me how many of the gods vote to do nothing. In the face of both their demise and the demise of the world, they choose inaction.
Most interesting, though, is the continued focus on Urðr, and her identity/position within the Pantheon. While Cassandra started as an interesting character — a trans woman who was a journalist, a skeptic and most importantly an adult — her transition to Urðr has not been kind to her. She continues to play the harping adult, and feels the least god-like of the group. This issue hints that perhaps her transition into fickle god may be at hand. Which would be quite bad for everyone involved.
The Wicked and The Divine #26 isn’t a terrible issue, in fact it’s quite good. The series still remains one of the best on the market, and the concept is still one of my favorites. It’s just a shame that Persephone’s formulaic antics are really dragging down what is otherwise a great ride.
Author(s): Kieron Gillen
Artist(s): Jamie McKelvie
Publisher: Image Comics
Publish Date: 02/08/17
Acquired via Purchase