Comic Book Review: The Wicked & The Divine #39
It’s the end of the story arc. I was not at all prepared for this issue. As fans of this series, we have come to brace ourselves for this time of the year because this creative team has never shied away from hitting us with a heartbreaking loss. We get so connected to these characters whether we love them or hate them, that it just crushed you with the idea that it might be time to say goodbye to someone major. The only questions to follow were the who, and what we should expect if that isn’t the case.
The focus on Minerva was great for the stage we are in. She is still keeping her secrets from everyone, but we as the fans get to see more of her when everyone turns their backs. It is delightful to see how quickly her personality changes once the charade is dropped. I mean, she could do just about anything right now and get away with it because no one wants to genuinely suspect that Minerva is the person to be trusted least. Of course easier said than done when this is a long game that she and her sister have been playing for thousands of years. For this issue, I loved how we are seeing her pushed to that point where underhanded tactics are the basis of her playbook. That emphasizes desperation on her part, and exciting things are only to come when someone is that fearful of losing with victory so close.
With that said, the flashback to the very start of the game between the sisters was awesome for the fact that it was easy to forget that there was something to address about the fourth rule. So many things are going on currently, topped with the disappearance of Laura, that you couldn’t help but forget about something seen how many months ago. The reveal of that fourth rule, as well as what was truly going through the mind of Ananke’s sister during that time was a real treat. Well, before I get into that, I should still say it bugs the heck out of me that her actual name is still unknown. That said, we’ve all been led to believe that this was such a one-sided game for so long that it was brilliant to find ourselves at that point where we could see that there was much more to what was seen from the other side. A new layer of excitement was added to the game, and who wouldn’t want to see what happens when the true intentions of the rules come to light? This guy does, especially when someone seems to have already found the loophole.
For this conclusion, it was the fate of Laura that was the highlight. There was no way that this creative team would really leave us hanging with what it meant for her to not exist anymore. The truth to that was jaw-dropping. Not just for what was the actuality in where she disappeared to, but what she discovered to drive her to make that choice. The conversation that Laura had with herself was the most straightforward engagement she has had in such a long time. One where there was nothing between her and the truth about who she is, who she wants to be, and what she isn’t. While not everything was understood about the longterm discovery, her revelation changes everything about the mentality of a God.
For this issue, there was definitely some expectation of big and flashy, but I’m glad that this time around the art team chose to simply treat us with new and creative. The new involved Woden and his many developments to his powers having more room to evolve his technology and soldiers. I was both shocked by the new weapons the Valkyries had at their disposal, and who he had wearing the suits. The weapons were big, pretty OP from looks alone, and the armors were more distinct to the people wearing them. There was much more intimidation to take from them when you could actually see a face, rather than only seeing what might as well be a husk. Of course, dealing with Woden, this was a great time to get playful with the colors. They were bold, vibrant, and everything you expect to set a scene when it comes to intense neon lights. What I loved most was the fun put into the many faces of Ananke’s sister. Seeing that she was much more than an inevitable victim added some fun to their game. Especially when you see that she gets her own kick from what was set in motion.
The Wicked & The Divine #39 was not at all the finale you thought it to be. I’m actually glad that this time around the creative team broke from the mold. This issue was excellent because it wasn’t what we expected. It was so much more because exploration and discovery overshadowed everything else. That is how you capture the true beauty in this kind of fantasy.