The Wicked + The Divine, vol. 3

Summary: After the detonation of FANDEMONIUM the gods-as-pop-stars of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE try living in the long dark shadow. Team WicDiv are joined by a stellar cast of guest artists to put the spotlight on each of the gods. The multiple Eisner Award nominated series continues in the only way it knows how: darker, weirder, faster. Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay.

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The Wicked + The Divine, vol. 3, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Clayton Cowles and Matt Wilson 7.25

You have to give Kieron Gillen credit: he sure knows how to surprise his readers – he actually killed off the series’ main character. Nothing is sacred, apparently. But now that Laura’s “dead” (we’ll see about that), he’s had to find a new focus – so each issue in this collection focuses on a different side-character.

Unfortunately, very little of it moves the general plot forward – except for the explicit revelations that some of the characters make (for instance, Woden knows a lot more about what’s going on and he just flat out tells us in his issue. !@#$). You know, instead of unveiling the mystery in a more traditional way.

I found that frustrating. As much as I want to know what’s going on, it feels lazy to me. It’s as though Gillen had no idea how to unveil a mystery, or whodunit, and just decided to tell us par l’entremise of one of his main characters. Dude, just spend the time needed to piece it all together beforehand!

!@#$

Further to that, the other characters are okay, but they were never the centerpiece of the story for me; I was more intrigued by the whole concept and the mystery. So taking a side trip visiting these other characters only feels like more of a cop-out, as though he were trying to kill time for lack of better ideas.

Let’s stretch this series for a while, shall we? Mo’ money? No problem.

And then there’s the artwork: despite the credits on the cover, the artists are completely different from one issue to the next. There’s no forewarning. Some are okay, but none of them hold up to McKelvie/Wilson/Cowles. None. Not even close. It’s alright, but they’re often thematically inappropriate.

So calling this trade paperback “Commercial Suicide” isn’t too far off. It remains an entertaining book, hence the relatively high rating, but it couldn’t possibly have gotten more off course from the rest of the series. In fact, it’s nearly unrecognizable. And it’s utterly redundant, aside for Gillen’s inelegant revelations.

Seriously, if the crew needed a break to get their act together, they should have taken the time.

This here is nothing more than a cynical money grab.

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