Publisher: Image Comics
Released: June 13th 2017
Issues: The Wicked + The Divine 23-28
The Wicked + The Divine is back for volume five, and I can’t be the only one curious about the title; Imperial Phase. Considering the events of the last volume, things have changed pretty dramatically. What that means for the gods and goddesses, I’m not so sure.
The first chapter of this volume is a bit different than anything I’ve seen in a graphic novel before. It’s set up like a faux magazine, with exposes on several (but not all) of the gods and goddesses. It’s wildly different, but in a way I kind of liked it. It was interesting to get a different perspective on the gods and goddesses, to read how they’re seen by the public eye.
That being said, I was still pretty happy to get along to the main plot. With Ananke’s death in the last volume, I wasn’t really sure what to expect for this one. I still have so many questions, but from what I’m seeing everybody has the same questions, and they’re learning the answers while they go.
This volume was in a way, more interesting in a last, though for completely different reasons. There was a lot more character development occurring in this one, sometimes for characters I wasn’t expecting. Baal, Woden, Persephone, Urdr, and Amaterasu probably got the most attention. Minerva and Sakhmet were also featured prominently; though it probably goes without saying that Sakhmet hasn’t really changed at all.
All of the gods and goddesses have different ways of dealing with the news and the changes. Some are doing okay, while others…not so much. None of them seem to know if they’ll get to live past the two years they were given or not. That could be another one of Ananke’s lies…or maybe not. For all we know she was in fact the one killing the gods each time, but there was a specific purpose for it (this will make more sense once you’ve read this volume, promise). Until one of them hits the two year mark they won’t really know. Unfortunately Baal was the first one transformed, and he’s the closest thing they have to a leader right now. Sort of. So without him they’re going to be in a lot of trouble. I’m anxious to see how that all plays out.
While this volume did have some pacing issues, there was still a lot of interesting events going on. The introduction of the new threat, which also ties in with Baal’s plot is interesting, and obviously very concerning. I’m fascinated with Amaterasu’s plot and character development. I’m not sure where that’s going, or even if we’re going to see any more of that (again, this will make more sense when you read it). Some crazy events happen, that I can’t even hint at because of spoilers, but they more than make up for the duller points in this volume, if you ask me.
I’m anxious to start reading Imperial Phase II. With any luck we’ll start getting answers…though naturally I’m worried those answers will come in the form of characters dying (it’d be nice if we went awhile without losing more of them).