Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Review by: Sofía Marlasca
One of the biggest challenges “The Wicked and The Divine” faces is properly dealing with the problematic aspects of its story and characters, because, as Kieron Gillen has stated, these are problematic people doing problematic things. While Woden’s issue was clear on the problematic aspect, the fact that he’s being coded as a villain subtracted a bit from this message. This time, however, Amaterasu’s story made it abundantly clear that even the most sympathetic do-gooder in this book is not without fault.
Another big challenge for Gillen in this series is fleshing out Amaterasu’s too-good-to-be-true character, giving us an insight of who she is, what her background is, and why she acts the way she does. When it comes to backstory, this issue failed to deliver to the degree Tara’s story did. While the first scene with Amaterasu’s childhood was insightful, overall the flashbacks felt somewhat disconnected to the story or were too vague to completely convey the story behind Amaterasu/Hazel.
Where this book succeeded, on the other hand, was in dealing with Amaterasu’s more present (and hidden) issues. The first flashback worked wonders to show these tantrums are proper of the girl, and not the goddess, and it certainly added an unexpected twist to Amaterasu’s sweet character. It also provided one of the most amazing godly showdowns of the series so far, aided by Stephanie Hans’ gorgeous art, definitively the issue’s highlight.
Overall, this issue might not be the best in the series, but given the unbelievable quality “The Wicked and The Divine” has had so far, even its slightly weaker issues are amazing. We learn that Amaterasu has some anger management issues and a problematic history, and we get a look at the gods’ growing tensions, so in sum it’s a very good issue. While it doesn’t necessarily advance the plot, this issue is a beautiful addition to the collection and a nice insight into a character who has been here from issue #1 and deserved more spotlight.
RATING: 7 out of 10
Release date: October 14, 2015