Welcome to Wicked Intervention, Multiversity’s monthly annotations for Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson’s “The Wicked + The Divine”. Before we start, apologies for the lateness on this column. Between finals, the holidays, and whatever Axistential Crisis was, I had my hands full. I promised Wicked Intervention would return after two months and since December still has a day left I wasn’t entirely lying. This week, we catch up with Laura, bury Eleanor Rigby, and prepare for “Fandemonium.” As one might imagine, spoilers ahead.
Allow Me To Introduce Myself – The Cover Gallery
Inanna the goddess is a Sumerian deity of, according to Wikipedia, love, fertility, and warfare, which is likely the raddest combination of patronages for any goddess. Like many other deities, Inanna is a vengeful one. Once, after being sexually assaulted, she sought vengeance by transmuting all water into blood and cast several storms before ultimately turning into a rainbow to find her attacker and then slaughtered him. She also died and was brought back to life, though she needed to find someone to take her place in the underworld. She chose her husband because he didn’t mourn her enough. In short, Inanna is amazing. She’s also been connected to the planet Venus, as well as the Greco-Roman figure of the same name.
Prince wrote a lot of songs and played a penis guitar and is arguably more of a fertility goddess than Inanna ever was. If you were born in the 1980’s, you were conceived to the sound of his voice. Don’t think about that too long.
Our Inanna in “The Wicked + The Divine”, unlike a lot of his contemporaries, actually has a ton of his background unveiled in this issue so we won’t talk about him too much here, so much as throughout the column. It is interesting to note how even though the original Inanna is female, the one we meet here is (we assume) male. This seems to speak a lot about the character and the series as a whole but again we’ll talk about that soon.
So when we last left off, Luci died and Laura gained the ability to light cigarettes with her fingers. Back then we assumed this meant Laura had finally achieved her godhood and the new skull symbol meant she’d taken her place on the WicDiv Wheel. As was pointed out, the skull probably just meant Luci died which makes a lot of sense with where we’re at. As we’ll learn soon, Laura was only able to light the fire once. She still might become a god soon enough but she hasn’t earned her spot yet and if/when she does she won’t just assume Lucifer’s role. In the mean time, feel free to guess which of the newly revealed icons from the NYCC WicDiv shirt are hers.
And here’s our first look at “Fandemonium” Laura. Like roughly everyone moving into a new phase of her life, she got a drastically new haircut, though it seems she hasn’t completely moved on. She still has that Freaks and Geeks military jacket she wore through the first arc. She’s also wearing an Inanna t-shirt which is likely less of a sign that Laura’s replaced or tried to replace Luci and more just an indication that Laura hasn’t forsaken the Pantheon. Laura and Luci’s relationship was important, without a doubt, but it’s still important to keep in mind that Laura’s obsession extends to all the gods, not just our dear, dead devil..
That said, Laura still took Luci’s death extremely personally, as shown by her reaction to these posers wearing these shirts.
If I don’t see one of those shirts at my next convention, I’ll make one myself and proceed to eat it. Honestly, it’s a cool design. I’ve been trying to make an “Imagine How Is Touch The Sky” joke about the text’s placement but the red in “our” breaks up the sentence flow rather nicely. Damn McKelvie and his practical eye for fashion fashion.
As one might expect, being suddenly faced with a reminder of the closest thing you’ve had to a friend’s recent death, as well as how being of the Pantheon reduces your chances of living for very long (even before your two years are up), sucks.Continued below
Also of note, Laura got her shirt at Inanna’s residency in Camden. I’m not entirely sure if this means she got it from some event at Inanna’s actual residence (there’s a precedent what with Woden’s Valhalla) or if Inanna just played in Camden a lot, like an artist in residency. It’s likely the latter, you just never really hear extended performance dates described as a “residency” in the United States. We don’t have them. No one’s ever used the phrase “Carrot Top’s residency at The Luxor.”
This was mentioned in our NYCC interview but Ragnarock is the convention for Pantheon fans. We’ll see some more of it later on this issue.
Also, yes. Luci really would have loved that.
Me as hell.jpeg.
Also, by my reckoning, we’re about a month and a half off from the events of ‘The Faust Act’. As mentioned in the NYCC interview, The Faust Act took place over a rather short period of time and we can expect “Fandemonium” to play out over a longer stretch of time.
Some consequences of Lucifer’s death, ranging from the emotional to the intriguing. We get a look at Luci’s (absentee) parents as well as Baal and Amaterasu playing damage control to different degrees. In the news crawler, you can also see a mention of a 1969 Rolling Stones classic, presumably getting real popular in the face of Luci’s death. Our bets are on “Gimme Shelter.”
We’d also like to take this time to award our “Most Baphomet Moment of the Month” award to Baphomet, who has apparently raised zombies to dance with the living while screaming “None More Goth!” I don’t want to make it sound like Baphomet’s a joke, but he’s literally the villain from that Scooby-Doo episode where a ska band summoned an army of zombies. Speaking of which, since when could the Gods reanimate the dead? The Morrigan, or at least Annie, has shown it’s possible to bring people back to some capacity but not in grave instances like Lucifer’s. Considering some of these bodies have presumably been decomposing for days at the very least, just how powerful is Baphomet?
Not much to say here besides how good Laura’s relationship with her folks here is, even in these small instances. There’s a real love between them but it can’t be expressed properly due to the generation gap between them. Explaining your favorite band to your parents is difficult, even more so when said band has caused you to witness two murders and the destruction of any fantasies you had regarding these people you once idolized. As much as Los Campesinos! means to me, I’ve never had to had to get Gareth David out of a murder charge.
The relationship between Laura and her parents also reminds me of what Gillen said about the conflict between the Young Avengers and their parents from the 2013 series. The conflict was never that the kids hated their parents or vice versa. There was just a language barrier they simply couldn’t understand. And though said barrier is no longer represented by a multidimensional parasite hellbent on annihilation, it’s still undoubtedly present within Laura’s family.
Somewhere, Bryan Lee O’Malley just chuckled so hard he fell backwards into his pool of Edgar Wright money. In case you (somehow) haven’t read it, the Scott Pilgrim series is arguably the most important graphic novel series of the 2000’s (the first volume, I just mournfully noticed debuted ten years ago). It’s been name dropped in Team Phonogram books before, namely in “Young Avengers”, and has a lot in common with their work. Everything Scott Pilgrim was to the 2000’s, Post-“Rue Britannia” Team Phonogram is to the 2010’s.
There’s a mention of Brunnhilde, one of Woden’s Valkyries. This is the first mention we get of them as an autonomous group and I don’t think anyone will complain if we see more of these cyber-nordic back-up dancers.
They have a landline?
Luci’s real name is Eleanor Rigby. I want to say this is pretty unsubtle, but this is also a comic where the main character had an honest to god soliloquy. Subtlety has never really been something this book’s been concerned with. She also takes her name from the song, “Eleanor Rigby”, natch. That “all the lonely people” one. Pretty fitting for this cast of characters, no?
The reprise of Lucifer’s favorite quote, “They fuck you up, your mom and dad” definitely takes on a new context now that we’ve seen Lucifer’s (sorry, Eleanor’s) parents. Compared to Laura’s, they didn’t seem nearly as involved in their daughter’s life. Though it’s probably pretty rude to assume Eleanor’s parents were uncaring or something, it’s at least noteworthy that their parenting style is at least different than Laura’s parents’. Perhaps Laura shouldn’t take this quote as seriously as her deceased friend did. You know. Because she died at the hands of Ananke. Her spirt mom, if we’re using Maximoff family terms.
Where’s the motorcycle, Purple Rain?
As you might have guessed from this comic’s cover and Laura’s shirt, this Prince/Longshot cosplayer is Inanna whose sensual voice sounds like chocolate being melted over boobs or something. He is about to be your new favorite character.
Some much needed positivity in this crushing, crushing comic.
Shitty Clark Gregg may sound like a straw man for every “MILLENIALS ARE TERRIBLE” argument from the last few years but you can kind of see where he’s coming from. He’s claimed to have studied the Pantheon his whole life but he’s never been able to study the 2014 Pantheon since it never happened yet. If dude has been studying his entire life like he’s claimed, he’s been building all of his anticipations around cultures that are long gone. If the Pantheon is meant to reflect the needs of its generation, then how can a man in his (estimated) 40’s expect to understand a cultural movement that’s specifically not for him? Like Laura says “You’ve learned so much you know nothing.” I really hope the two of them get the chance to talk in two years like Laura promised.
Moreover, is this guy just upset the Pantheon skipped the 80’s? Is there a spin-off in the works about this guy hanging out with a George Michael Woden? Someone page Eric Stephenson’s beeper, I’ve got a proposition.
I’m a huge fan of Ananke’s ever-changing wardrobe, especially when it turns her into a Guillermo del Toro character. Now, if she changes clothes, is Ananke a personification of Fate like we assumed or another human possessed by a god or otherworldly force? If it’s the former, then the trope usually indicates that she wears the same outfit all the time, like the butterfly mourning veil outfit she’s more or less been doing for the last five issues. Considering Ananke was around in the 1920’s, then she definitely has some sort of immortality but she could have had a human form before something made her the curator to the Pantheon. And if that situation happened to one human, could it happen to someone else, I write while staring straight at a picture of Laura and or Cassandra?
Page 18 – Part Two
Does anyone else think pre-blessing Inanna looks a bit like Cassandra? Short hair, serious face, and glasses? I only bring it up because I think there’s something to be said for the parallels of, say, Inanna’s transformation from human to immortal and Cassandra’s journey as a trans woman. If there’s been one consistent objective for every (or most) characters in WicDiv, it’s to find some idealized version of themselves. Just look at Inanna in his somber button-up compared to a few seconds later in his chest-hair marching band jacket. Dude is downright elated. For my money, Laura’s not looking for fame and fortune. She wants everything the Pantheon have and what they do have is a very defined sense of self, something Laura seems to doubt she has at times.
Some people in life find this ideal version of themselves quite easily while others struggle desperately, with the LGBTQ community being one of the more prominent examples of the latter, especially for transgender people like Cassandra who’ve taken a similar journey without the help of a magical fairy god mother. Though Inanna says, as prominently shown on the comic’s back cover, “I’ve got no reason to be afraid anymore”, the same can’t be said for everyone.Continued below
All that said, I’m not intending to imply that transitioning is anything close to really fancy magic dress up, just that characters like Cassandra and Inanna have some similar trajectories. One was granted a transformation that solved all their self-confidence problems while the other still faces gender-shaming from characters like Lucifer. And though she may have hurt Cass by saying that, Luci is proof that the book itself is rather gender-friendly by having a disgruntled girl find her inner darkness in the traditionally male Lucifer or having a boy stop being afraid by becoming a a traditionally female Inanna. Granted, I don’t have all the answers for this idea but I do believe the idea is at least present. If you’ve got anything to add, please feel free to do so in the comments. As a small cisgender boy, I definitely don’t have the best perspective for this discussion, much less lead it, but I do feel it’s one worth having.
Inanna could be my deep throat anytime. Sorry, I felt a need to re-break the ice.
Inanna can teleport and is able to divine information from objects by touching them. He is literally the son of Longshot and Shatterstar.
I’m absolutely horrid with constellations so I’m a bit stuck here. They seem to be the symbols for the other gods (the pentagram is definitely Lucifer and this Pantheon has like twenty bird goddesses) but I’m having trouble identifying all of them, especially the two lines and the one on the left that looks like it has a goatee.
This issue’s big twists: the militant group that attacked the party in the first issue we sort of brushed under the carpet weren’t religious nuts or the government – they were fans. Of who, it’s hard to say. They could have been working under the orders of one deity to get Lucifer into the situation with the judge or they could even be worshippers of Lucifer, trying to rile her up to the point where she’d fulfill the story of her fall. Doesn’t matter either way, really. Like Inanna says, it’s up to us to find out. What’s a good comic without a shocking reveals?
Speaking of shocking twists, I can’t believe the very next panel had Inanna immediately regenerate into Peter Capaldi.
After Inanna asks Laura to be careful, she immediately opens herself up to the public like the utter champion she is. Through everything she’s done over the past two months, she’s earned some, if not as much, prestige as the other members of the Pantheon. The finger snap may not have lit her cigarette, but what does she need that for when she’s got a lighter? And what does she need a sparkly jacket and teleportation powers for when she can make the internet lose its mind in the span of a cigarette run? Laura may not be able to start fires or summon lightning, but she has the most valuable type of power a millennial could have: information.
Over the span of two months and a few concerts gone wrong, Laura’s gone from fangirl to power player within the tabloid magazine equivalent of Game of Thrones. Can’t imagine what she’ll make out of two years.