The Wicked + The Divine #33 from Image Comics by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson, Clayton Cowles, and Dee Cunniffe is going to be a tough one to review without spoilers, but I'm going to try.
What I will say is that this issue is a game changer. And damned if I don't admit it blew me away with its not one, not two but multiple surprises that left me reeling. In fact, I believe my exact reaction when reading this comic on a train from Cardiff to Treorchy in the deepest, darkest valleys of South Wales was this:
What's most shocking about them? That I didn't see them coming at all when in point of fact, the clues have been there the whole time.
The fact I'm surprised at all just goes to show the sheer level of Gillen's capabilities with the craft of storytelling, and I really should have known. Whenever things seem black and white with Gillen, they rarely are. Hell, even when Phonogram: Rue Britannia was in black and white, it wasn't. Here, he achieves it again, maybe even topping passed rug pulls like his runs on Journey Into Mystery.
All of this is as aptly illustrated by the stunning artwork from McKelvie and Wilson (with flatting help from Cunniffe), whose work shows the unfolding revelations clearly and gorgeously. The colours in particular are sumptuous and warm.
A lot of the magic of The Wicked + The Divine lies in the characters' interactions and relationships, as well as the ability to discuss complex emotional matters. In among the shocks and twists of the issue, these still get a wonderful and compelling time to shine, too.
And spoilers aside, it is not hyperbole to state that this issue changes the whole game of The Wicked + the Divine in a way that makes the future ever so exciting going forward.
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