Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Designed by Hannah Donovan
Edited by Chrissy Williams
Variant Cover by Christian Ward
Published by Image Comics
The first arc of The Wicked and The Divine gave readers a glimpse into the hysteria created by the reincarnated gods among their fans. With the second arc now in full swing, Gillen and McKelvie are exploring the line between fan and artist, and what happens when that line is crossed.
Laura, still reeling from Lucifer’s death, finds herself on a panel at the London Fantheon, a convention dedicated to the gods, featuring VIP concert access and paid personal blessings from Minerva. The map of the convention floor will be amusingly familiar to anyone who’s attended a comics convention, and the food court puns are worth the price of the book on its own. Laura is there to find the fans to tried to assassinate Luci, but she’s also booked onto a panel to talk about her connection to Luci with other former hangers-on, including an ex-Valkyrie, whose bitter gossip steals the show before Woden shows up for the curtain call.
Gillen introduces the idea into the WicDiv universe of “Prometheus,” based on the Greek myth of the Titan who stole fire from the gods – the belief among some fans that by killing a god, you can inherit the god’s power. Laura, of course, is struggling with wondering whether she’s done just that, but we also learn that the fans aren’t the only ones who can feel envious of the gods.
At times the book can be uncomfortable reading, especially in today’s world of social media, where artists have never been more accessible to fans, and yet that accessibility often seems to breed increasing demands by fans for whom more is not enough. The issue doesn’t mock fandom, but it does, perhaps, ask it to think a bit.
As per usual for this book, Jamie McKelvie’s art and Matthew Wilson’s colors are striking and tell the story visually just as much as Gillen’s words. In particular, it’s amazing how McKelvie can make Woden, a character encased in a Tron-like suit and impenetrable mask, compelling and three-dimensional through his body language and positioning. Special credit goes to Alison Sampson, who drew the amazing two-page London Fantheon map, and Tom Muller, who designed the flyer at the end of the issue which announces a new arrival to the pantheon.
Verdict: BUY. This continues to be one of the best-looking and best-written comics on the shelves right now – consistently interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking.