The Wicked + the Divine #19 Written by Kieron Gillen …
If it wasn’t obvious before, the “Commercial Suicide” arc of WicDiv is about the personal tragedies of the Pantheon members. If the first half was about misogyny, it seems like the second half is about the personal choices of women. This becomes fairly obvious in the final issue of the arc, which is about Sakhmet.
With David taking his bow and using the last of his power from Britannia, Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #5 feels like more of an ending than anything else we’ve seen from the Phonogram series. As Emily and David’s story shifts more into the “present” of 2009-2010, we see the closest they might actually get to growing up. For David, it’s learning how to be a decent human being. For Emily, it’s accepting her death. Morbid as it can be, Team Phonogram creates a story in this issue that gives the characters room to do that without sacrificing who they are at their cores. With the groundwork laid and with Emily running out of time, the finale looks to be a heart-racer and a heart-wrencher.
While it may initially appear irrelevant to the rest of the plot, Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #4 may be one of Gillen, McKelvie, Cowles, and Wilson’s finest hours as a creative team. By using the tropes and tics of a popular and defining work, they manage to tell a story that both plays with the central theme of the arc and the central theme of the work referenced in astoundingly creative ways. It’s fun, electric, and even just a bit precious.
Zero is a great example in which the medium of comics can be utilized to tell compelling, challenging stories with a wide array of art styles that touches on relevant and personal subject matters. Ales Kot’s dense script with the vast selection of artists and consistent, style adhering colourist extraordinaire Jordie Bellaire make this a very special book.
With its witty (and wee bit pretentious) conversations about musical trends, smart design and color choices from Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson, and robust character work with Emily Aster, Phonogram #1 reads like if The Smiths weren’t utter drama queens and made another album after Strangeways, Here We Come. (The Smiths are my favorite band so this is a high compliment as far as music metaphors go.)
Ales Kot enters further into the realm of blending the real world with the supernatural, presenting Wolf as the sort of story that will bring in fans of John Constantine or the brilliant Fatale. The various, enigmatic characters are developed enough through the larger premier issue warranting a strong curiosity as to the direction that this creative team is going in.
Wolverine is dead to begin with. How permanent is his death remains to be seen. For the time being though, Wolverine’s possessions have been collected and his last wishes read. The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning will never be the same. As his replacement, Wolverine has chosen Spider-Man to fill the position of Guidance Counselor for a rather erhm, Special Class of mutants.