Comic Book Review: The Wicked & The Divine #40
I felt the gut punch when reading that this new story arc would be the last for The Wicked & The Divine. This was one of those books you may have thought would take quite a bit to see an end. Not a bad thing that it is ending with that said. Great stories have a definite beginning and an end. That much you can’t take from this series and it’s accomplishments through these 40 issues so far. And there’s still a lot to look forward to from this final stretch when big moves will be played for the sake of either this game, the fate of the world, and the lives of these divine.
It was interesting how fast we jumped into the answer we seek about this kid we saw on the cover of this issue. Most of us have picked up on it by now that usually there is some importance to the character centered on the front. The person tends to have some relevance to the story whether directly or indirectly. This kid was a bold choice this time around since he didn’t have a significant impact towards the direction that the story was currently taking. This was just a kid with a perspective towards what was unfolding around him. It was the event that you were bracing for, but there needed to be a face on the ground to properly experience it all. To that extent I felt that they nailed the overall engagement since we are heading into that big moment for Baal. A big show, a main attraction, so much that could change the course of this plot with one move. It mattered to have various people who we could pluck thoughts from to understand what it is that is at stake.
The big thing for this arc seems to be focusing on the approaching Great Darkness. This storyline has been a slow crawl for the longest time, but I couldn’t argue with the fact that the reveal would no doubt be worth the wait. I mean, what more could you ever want than an all-out smackdown between a god and a greater force? Understanding what plan Baal had set in motion to accomplish this task of defeating the Great Darkness was one heck of a bomb to drop on our laps too. How this ended was one heck of a twist as well. There is no better feeling right now than to know that there’s nothing you can assume that will happen next.
What I found crazy was the continued vagueness given to Minerva throughout this issue. She’s the big bad, the puppeteer, the danger you could never see coming because she’s in the body of a kid. Her big villainous monologue they spared a couple of pages to was quite brilliant. You knew that she had grand plans in mind, and it could only begin to make sense through the way that she alluded to different things we have come to discover about her through our trips to the past.
For this issue, the art team definitely had some fun with what was building up through the beginnings of this new arc. It was fun to get back to a point where you could remember that this pantheon of gods are performers. They have big shows, spectacular sets/stages, fans who go all out to stand out. There were so many fans seen throughout this issue, and all of them stood out in one way or another for how they captured the look of the gods they admired. The lightning bolt earrings, face paint, the hairstyles. For the most part you were never looking at the same thing twice. For all the different faces and perspectives taken in one issue, the panel layout was creative as well. Being Baal we had a surplus of that special pink of his to marvel at. I loved the way that this engulfed so much of the atmosphere. It works very well when emotions are running in all directions. The way that these colors clashed with others was the icing on the cake. The atmosphere in general would be as captivating if it wasn’t for the way that these colors flashed, blended, and consistently intensified as the show grew closer to a start.
This creative team’s five-years-in-the-making conclusion has now been set into motion and they have our full attention. The Wicked & The Divine #40 really toys with your emotions when there is everything to lose. What does it mean to save the world? The people you care about most? It seems those are the two big questions to keep in mind knowing that the worst is still yet to come. I just hope that this will be an end that we are satisfied with for the pacing that has picked up once again.