I was worried for a while after starting this volume that the series had reached the point where it was losing its volume-to-volume appeal and a full re-read was going to be necessary in order to appreciate everything that was going on. The basics of the plot are easy enough to grab as the cast is primarily concerned with two things: Finding Sakhmet after she engaged in a bit of mass-murder at the end of the volume and setting up a massive concert as a means of generating some friendly PR and to power the mysterious machine Ananke left behind. There’s other stuff going on too, such as Dio’s attempts to connect with and help Baphomet, and Persephone’s near-volume-length turn as the (self) destroyer. Yet the larger picture of the plot and the characters’ role in it never felt as fuzzy to me as it did for most of the beginning of this volume.
Now, “The Wicked + The Divine” will always have Kieron Gillen’s dialogue that is as funny as it is sharp and Jamie McKelvie’s wonderfully emotive and dynamic art to soothe issues like this. What I wasn’t expecting were a couple of twists in the final issue that went a long way towards banishing the doubts described above. The first was a genuine surprise. All the more so for how it made perfect sense in the context of what had come before and how it’ll make re-reading the series a lot more interesting with the knowledge it imparts. As for the second, it’s of the “Should’ve seen this coming” variety in its reveals about a certain character and how death isn’t as permanent in this series as you’d have expected. It’s still excellent work by the creative team and it leaves the series in a very strong place as it heads into its final year.