The Wicked + The Divine #45
Clayton Cowles (letters), Dee Cunniffe (flatter), Kieron Gillen (writer), Jamie McKelvie (artist), Matthew Wilson (colors)
September 4, 2019
This post contains spoilers for The Wicked + The Divine #45.
Well, it’s over. Five years, forty-five issues, six specials, nine volumes, and miles of heartbreak later, and The Wicked + The Divine is done. I’m going to wax sentimental a little bit before I go into the actual review, because that’s what this book means to me. For me, it’s only been four years, because I didn’t get in on the ground floor of this comic. I started with the release of the second trade, and was immediately hooked on the premise and the story. But WicDiv means more to me than just a good comic; it surprisingly became one of, if not the, most important comics of my life, both personally and professionally.
My friends started a local book club to lament about and discuss each issue, jokingly calling it a support group because of the trauma this book dishes out to its readers. Through this group, I made or strengthened several friendships. I met two of my very best friends at one of these meetings, and we bonded over a shared love of comics, Star Wars, and dark humor, all because of asshole teenage gods with no self-control. Professionally, The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual supplied me with my very first pull quote: “I expected steamy—I did not expect full-on peens.” Which is a highlight of my professional career thus far. I had Jamie, Kieron, and Kris Anka all sign the trade after it came out, and it will always hold a place of honor for me.
Now that I’m done being sappy (I’m not, but I’m done with the personal story at least), let’s talk about this issue. It was an epilogue, as the main story that’s driven the whole series was wrapped up neatly in a bow last issue. The threat was over, the “gods” were mortal again, and both Valentine and Ananke were dead. Most of the others were put on trial and found guilty for various crimes. But they were alive, and that was where we left off.
We pick up forty years later, the remaining Pantheon are now all adults in their late fifties, and they are all attending a funeral. It turns out to be the funeral for Cassandra, who had eventually married Laura, and my heart broke for both of them. It’s not a pairing I ever expected, but it’s one that I should have, I guess.
What really touched me is how perfectly these endings work for each of these characters. Everyone got the happiest ending they could, and it’s both the last thing I expected from this book known for breaking my heart and the only thing that could have happened. Cass’s eulogizing her friends instead of herself allowed us to see the best in all of them. Aruna’s perseverance and art. Jon’s constant tinkering. Zahid’s endless optimism. Eleanor’s penchant for mischief. Umar’s unbridled kindness. Meredith and Zoe, parts of her own whole. And Laura, the woman that taught her to love. The eulogy made me cry, and so did Aruna’s performance.
And only Kieron Gillen could leave us with four blank pages to represent the “future” and not make it feel like a rip-off. It was a perfect pun, and if you know me, you know how hard it is to please me with puns. But then, this team—Kieron, Jamie, Matt, and Clayton—they have always managed to surprise, and to deliver at every turn.
The Wicked + The Divine has been one of the best comic experiences of my life, and I find it hard to imagine that any other comic will mean as much to me personally as this one has. WicDiv, I love you, and I’ll miss you.