The Wicked + The Divine is slowly revealing the gods of the Pantheon, giving little glimpses into the lives they lead. These gods are self-proclaimed celebrities and rock stars, striving to get the attention they deserve – and the privacy they often crave.
The Wicked + The Divine #4 opens with Baal taking Laura and Cassandra into the Pantheon, the heavily-guarded home and fortress of the gods. The reader is struck by how stark and empty the surroundings are as they follow Baal into the chambers of the Pantheon. Jamie McKelvie’s art, as always, is vibrant and adds to the eccentricity of these individuals and their mysterious habitat. Each god has their own pop of color that makes them emerge from the pages of the comic – from Amaterasu’s fiery red hair and peacock eye makeup to Woden’s Daft-Punk-meets-Tron electric-green outfit. The Pantheon itself sterile, yet futuristic with the clean blue color scheme and sharp lines. The gods’ home is a reflection of themselves. Barren. Beyond knowing. Impressive.
Every one of them possesses unknowable power. Historically, the name “Baal” means lord or master. In some instances, historical texts indicated Baal had the power of thunderstorms and lightning, which is carried over into this comic’s interpretation of the god. “I don’t do Fire. I do lightning. I do power. And I stop your heart if I look at you in the right way.” Baal has undoubtedly exercised this power before. His not-so-humble entrance into The Wicked + The Divine #4 and his monologue that starts the story are words that ooze blood.
Laura is left to figure out if Baal’s power over electricity could have made him the murderer. Laura believes in her hear that Luci is innocent, hence her adventure into the territory of the gods. She is faced with a panel of powerful beings – and every one of them has the capability and potential be the murderer. Every single god says they could do it, but that’s not the confession that Laura is looking for.
Laura then recounts her shakedown of the gods in the Pantheon to Luci, who is still in jail. Luci at first seems disheartened by the news, then decides to screw it all. The switch of emotion in this sequence is brilliant and subtle. Luci goes from concern to bleakness to anger to rebellion. This shift is subtle, yet powerful and is communicated beautifully through the art and simple dialogue.
The Wicked + The Divine #4 ends with a fiery hellblaze as Luci breaks out of jail to the tune of “The Last Time” by The Rolling Stones. Luci departs and takes the possibility of hope for her innocence with her. The Wicked + Divine #4 is a visually beautiful and engaging addition to the series and it will only get better (or worse, if you’re Luci) from here.