The Wicked + the Divine #5

written by Kieron Gillen; art by Jamie McKelvie

The first storyline of The Wicked + The Divine concludes in this issue. And it’s terrific.

Midway through, I found myself a little lost, but everything clears up nicely here. The various characters have sorted themselves out for me, or maybe I found them clearer when seeing how each acts when events all come to a head.

The Wicked + The Divine #5 cover

I don’t want to say too much about the plot, since this is the ending, except that the tone throughout is highly passionate, with desperate events taking place. It’s literally a matter of life and death, which is nothing new for comics, but it all seems more real and powerful and symbolic here. That’s in large part due to the presence of Laura, a fan given the chance to be much more, a desperate woman with half-green hair trying to save what she doesn’t understand. Her emotional involvement is palpable.

Kieron Gillen’s afterword comes full circle, in that it was originally intended to be an introduction but he thought it too bleak. It lays out the theme, of how we deal with death, clearly and beautifully. What better thought for a book about the modern gods? Very impressive (and it also explains Young Avengers). I admire Gillen’s self-awareness, and this piece puts the whole thing into new perspective for me.

You can read the whole storyline in the first series collection, The Faust Act, due out next month at the bargain price of $9.99.

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