Zeb Larson reviews The Wicked + The Divine #12…
The aftershocks from the Fandemonium apocalypse are tearing the gods apart. Join us for a new arc of guest artists working alongside Team WicDiv, starting with KATE BROWN (Young Avengers).
This was an odd issue of The Wicked + The Divine. After all of the bombshells in the last issue, the deaths of Laura and her family are only barely mentioned as the issue focuses mostly on Innana’s death and the crew of journalists investigating his death. All of the big shockers are put on hold, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Still, don’t hold your breath over this issue spilling any secrets about what happened last time. I will be discussing spoilers in this review, so consider yourself forewarned.
Laura briefly appears in a videotaped interview talking about the Gods, before we meet the people investigating Innana’s death. Beth is an old associate of Cassandra’s who was fired for messaging Baal, and now she’s missed her chance at divinity. With no worthwhile story material left, Beth and her team head to Innana’s ruined house, where Baal stops in to figure out what happened. Beth happens to know Morighan’s last hideout, and in exchange for telling Baal where Morighan is so that he can get his revenge on Baphomet, she gets an exclusive with him. Baal goes to pick a fight with Morighan, and after a brief spat (all filmed by Beth and her crew), she’s taken away as Baphomet watches.
It’s sort of tragically hilarious that Laura’s death is all but ignored in this issue. Beth suspects some sort of connection between her and Innana’s death, but it’s nothing more than a hunch. Then again, with a dead god, why would anybody care? Beth hits it on the head, albeit in cruel fashion: Laura was a starfucker, and one of many in a world where people get to know their gods biblically. Perhaps her greatest fear has come to pass: she’s already being forgotten.
Speaking of Beth, I found her presence to be a welcome addition to this book. Cassandra was always the critic and the skeptic, but she was a little too academic and honest to be a good kind of celebrity journalist. Beth is all tabloid, chasing the story and getting way too close to the subject. Her goal isn’t finding the truth, and I doubt she would give the truth the time of day unless it helped raise her star professionally. She cares about the story, and she chases it to brilliant effect in this issue. In a world of celebrity gods, we need this kind of journalist.
The art style in this issue was a dramatic departure from past issues because of Kate Brown’s guest work. It’s got much of an anime sensibility to it, which I normally don’t enjoy, but it works here. It works in part because it sets this issue apart from what came before, and given all of the dramatic changes in the narrative setting out with a fresh tone is not a bad thing. The new direction and characters are good, even if we’re just postponing the question of Laura’s fate.