The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual is Ho-Ho-Hot

The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual is Ho-Ho-Hot

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual Kieron Gillen (Writer and Creator), Jamie McKelvie (Creator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer) Image Comics December 13, 2017 Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's The Wicked + The Divine started with the story in progress, and already steering towards the depths of sadness and pain that this series would bring. Most

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual

Kieron Gillen (Writer and Creator), Jamie McKelvie (Creator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)
Image Comics
December 13, 2017

Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s The Wicked + The Divine started with the story in progress, and already steering towards the depths of sadness and pain that this series would bring. Most of the gods had already ascended, and their two-year lifespan was running out. We didn’t get a chance to see what fun these problem children had before things started getting bad. As a Christmas gift to the fans, Gillen and McKelvie have recruited an all-star team of artists to draw several short stories of happier times. Though would it really be WicDiv if they didn’t mix in a little bit of pain, too?

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual - Kieron Gillen (Writer), Jamie McKelvie (Cover) - Image Comics - December 2017

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual

“Summer Loving”

Kris Anka and Jen Bartel (Inks), Dee Cunniffe (Flats), Matt Wilson (Colors)

The first story in the annual was an absolute delight, but boy oh boy was reading it in public the wrong idea. I read it in the break room at work, and turned bright red. I was expecting steamy—I was not expecting full-on peens. And Kris Anka drew some very pretty peens. This story was beautiful, and it’s easy to see that Anka and Bartel had a lot of fun doing it. I particularly enjoyed Inanna pulling the Cheshire Cat move of leaving just his smile behind as he teleports and Baal using his storm powers to cool them both off.

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual - Kieron Gillen (Writer), Jamie McKelvie (Creator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Kris Anka and Jen Bartel (Inks), Dee Cunniffe (Flats), Matt Wilson (Colors) - Image Comics - December 2017

Baal and Inanna about to become Baananna

“If You’re Feline Sinister”

Rachel Stott (Inks), Ludwig Olimba (Flats), Tamra Bonvillain (Colors)

On the opposite side of the sexy funtimes spectrum, we have this story of Sakhmet and Lucifer, where we don’t actually see the deed, but rather the aftermath. The immediate afterglow is sweeter and more adorable than I expected from either of those gods, and Luci realizing what had been posted on Instagram was fantastic. The confrontation between Baal and Luci was everything I wanted it to be, and Baal’s anger was righteous. I absolutely adored Sakhmet’s “I’m not into all this drama” reaction.

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual - Kieron Gillen (Writer), Jamie McKelvie (Creator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Rachel Stott (Inks), Ludwig Olimba (Flats), Tamra Bonvillain (Colors) - Image Comics - December 2017

Have you ever kissed a cat? Luci has.

“Hitched”

Chyna Clugston Flores (Inks), Ludwig Olimba and Brandon Daniels (Flats), Tamra Bonvillain (Colors)

This was probably my favorite story of the bunch. Baby Dio and Baby Baph were just so pure and innocent. It was very bizarre seeing Umar with a full head of luscious hair and a full beard, so much so that it took me a little while to figure out that that was supposed to be him. Cameron was adorably nerdy, and Gillen sneaking in a Young Avengers reference was hilarious. I reacted the same way as the other people in the car every time Cameron made a pun. And then when he explained why he puns, my heart broke a little. You’re too pure and nerdy for this sad world, Cameron.

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual - Kieron Gillen (Writer), Jamie McKelvie (Creator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Chyna Clugston (Inks), Ludwig Olimba and Brandon Daniels (Flats), Tamra Bonvillain (Colors) - Image Comics - December 2017

I feel the same way about punners

“Decomposition”

Emma Vieceli (Inks), Dee Cunniffe (Flats), Matt Wilson (Colors)

Ah. Here we go. The traditional WicDiv heartbreak. Tara’s story is so infinitely sad, and this little snippet just adds so much to it. All Tara wants is to spread her music. That’s all that matters to her. And Ananke deliberately guides her to what will ultimately be her suicide. Like I said, it wouldn’t really be WicDiv if it didn’t cause you some sort of anguish. Emma Vieceli’s Tara is so raw and emotional, and her art is perfect for the character.

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual - Kieron Gillen (Writer), Jamie McKelvie (Creator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Emma Vieceli (Inks), Dee Cunniffe (Flats), Matt Wilson (Colors) - Image Comics - December 2017

Tara, the tortured artist

“Stolen Moment”

Rachel Stott (Inks), Dee Cunniffe (Flats), Matt Wilson (Colors)

This was a very short snippet, but it did its job of making me remember what Laura was like before she ascended into Persephone. Just that little smirk between Luci and Laura and everything was perfect again, if only for a second. Oh how your lives will fall apart, so very soon, my sweet, (not-so-)innocent children.

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual - Kieron Gillen (Writer), Jamie McKelvie (Creator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Rachel Stott (Inks), Dee Cunniffe (Flats), Matt Wilson (Colors) - Image Comics - December 2017

I love these smirks!

“Toxic Community”

Carla Speed McNeil (Inks), Fernando Argüello (Flats), Tamra Bonvillain (Colors)

Here’s our Amaterasu, always trying to be loved and going about it the wrong way. She sees her friendship with Eleanor as mutually mean, but that’s more just how Eleanor treats everyone, and not the treatment she expects back. When she draws her fanart of Luci, she’s trying to be friendly, but Luci just takes it as mean and cuts her off. It’s only after Hazel becomes a god herself that Luci sees the benefit of their friendship, and Amaterasu is too naive to see it. Carla’s Amaterasu was glowing and absolutely beautiful.

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual - Kieron Gillen (Writer), Jamie McKelvie (Creator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Carla Speed McNeil (Inks), Fernando Argüello (Flats), Tamra Bonvillain (Colors) - Image Comics - December 2017

That is definitely mean fanart

“Uh-Huh-Huh”

Emma Vieceli (Inks), Dee Cunniffe (Flats), Matt Wilson (Colors)

We opened with Baal having sexy times, and we close with Baal having sexy times. It’s a great way to bookend this annual. Again, Emma Vieceli’s art is perfect for the feeling of this story, able to convey the doubt and excitement of pre-god Laura. She also encapsulated the pain of Baal in that moment.

The Wicked + The Divine: Christmas Annual - Kieron Gillen (Writer), Jamie McKelvie (Creator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Emma Vieceli (Inks), Dee Cunniffe (Flats), Matt Wilson (Colors) - Image Comics - December 2017

One last moment of serenity

This WicDiv annual was a fun trip down memory lane, allowing us to see these children when they were happy. We got to see artists other than Jamie McKelvie take their cracks at the modern-day Pantheon, and it was fantastic. And of course, it wouldn’t truly be WicDiv if it didn’t shatter your heart at least once. This was a nice little break as we head into the final year of this series.

Cori McCreery
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