Not going to lie, I was quite losing my mind over what was coming next for these once gods. They finally understood what they are, what they could have been, and what was almost stolen from them. Only to reclaim their humanity at the cost of leaving themselves vulnerable to one last danger. I mean, what could go wrong when they all give up their power, and only Lucifer of all the gods decides to keep hers? Seeming quite intent on letting nothing get in her way at the same time.
What gave me chills with this chapter was knowing that the punches could still keep rolling. Just because these characters started to take back their futures, didn’t mean all was certain. Not even with this being the second to last issue of the series. That only means we have to brace ourselves more than ever for where things can still go wrong. Some things did in fact go right, but this isn’t one of those stories where everyone is going to walk away with a happy ending. From the start of this issue, my heart started racing once more because this had to be Lucifer of all people. You never truly know what is going on inside that head. Not till it’s too late. The reaction from everyone to her decision made sense since it’s kind of new to most of them to be vulnerable again.
Obviously they weren’t going to go such a predictable route like what was just set up, so how they tackled the problem of Lucifer was one of the most engaging and unique scenes of the series. On one hand, this was the strongest dissection that one of these characters has ever gone through in such a short period of time. One that also challenged the power that Ananke abused to set these characters on the path they were almost trapped on. Then on the other hand it was heartwarming for the fact that this was the time to show that these characters have grown beyond resorting to violence. This was their time to be better than they were when they felt unstoppable.
How they dealt with Minerva/Ananke was the true shocker for this chapter. No matter how this story ended, SOMETHING had to be done about her. You can’t simply move forward when there’s no certainty that she couldn’t simply try again with a new group down the road, or try her hand again at killing the gods without the games. The solution to this problem was executed perfectly because they set it up one way, and then so quick flipped the table to go an entirely different route. One which breaks your heart for a very different reason than seeing this woman who has finally been beaten at this ritual game.
Now with those two big things addressed, all that remained was what came after. What do you do when the game has ended, and everyone has to face an ordinary life once more? The answer to that was a bit chilling because so much can go wrong from there, and yet at the same time the answer is left up in the air till the next issue, the last issue, hits stands!
Visually this issue was worth the wait. Like I said above, there was one more trick to pull off with these miracles, and this art team made it count. I loved how they took the most memorable scene for these characters, and twisted it into something so chilling, yet revealing. Those melted faces were a nice touch, as well as the flames from which one of these characters was saved from. Most importantly, what jumped out at you was the emotional value put into these characters. Everything these characters went through in just this chapter was a lot, and it was all experienced so swiftly. I loved the convincing nature in which it was all captured. This went double for one Lucifer who you have never seen like this, so human. Beyond that, Wilson got his colors in where they counted. I welcomed even just one opportunity to show off his unique palette and pop that he gives the interiors, even layout design.
The Wicked & The Divine #44 was worth the wait for everything jaw-dropping experienced from these once-gods who find themselves faced with the real world again. The rules were different for them at a point, but now they are playing the same game of life that the rest of us do. And that comes with a strongest sense of acceptance and ownership to everything we do wrong and take advantage of.