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Kieron Gillen – The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 4: Rising Action

June 27, 2017

32. Rising Action by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (2016)
The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 4

Read my review of volume:
1. The Faust Act
2. Fandemonium
3. Commercial Suicide

Length: 144 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Started/Finished: 25 June 2017

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? It’s one of my new graphic novel series to read.

When the gods turn on
each other, the results will
be catastrophic.

Summary: In the world of The Wicked + The Divine, every 90 years, twelve gods return into the bodies of young people. They live for two years, idolized and feared by the public, and then at the end of that time, they die… if they’re not killed in the meantime.

Of the twelve gods in the Pantheon during the current Return, three are dead by the beginning of Vol. 4. Also dead: Laura Wilson. Or is she? The other gods don’t seem to know that right before Ananke killed her, she announced that Laura was actually a thirteenth god, Persephone. Now Persephone is back, and the Pantheon has fractured – those who stand with Ananke, blame the Morrigan for Inanna’s death, and believe that Persephone is the Destroyer, and those who suspect that Ananke has darker plans than anyone realizes, and will risk what remains of their godhood to stop her.

Review: This was great. This is what I was waiting for after the cliffhanger at the end of Vol. 2. This is what Vol. 3 should have been. The story moves forward, we find out more about what’s going on, there’s plotting and fighting and some character development and some backstory all carefully mixed in. As in previous volumes (Except you, Volume 3; you know what you did), I’m left wondering where the series is going because they just took a left turn away from where I was expecting them to go. That unpredictability (especially since it seems well thought-out, not random, even though I can’t see the overall shape of things yet) makes for a really effective hook, and I’m looking forward to reading more. The art is also back to the “normal” look of the series, which I appreciate; the fight scenes are all really cool to look at, and there were a lot of fight scenes to be had in this volume. I can’t quite yet figure out some of the gods’ powers — Baal is the storm god with the lightning and such, and The Morrigan has the multiple aspects and the crows, and Persephone can make tentacle/plant vine thingies come out of the ground (and maybe some other powers), and Amaterasu can travel through sunlight? But Woden made a machine to let her travel through starlight? What? Also unclear is the exact timeline – a lot of this is told in flashback, and I didn’t have the previous volumes on hand to piece together exactly what happens when. So, there are some things that could have used some clarification, but in truth they don’t really hinder my enjoyment of this series. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: The series as a whole is good for people who like their mythologies mixed in with their fiction, and don’t mind some sex and violence to go with it.

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First Line: “Yeah, I’m ready.”

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