I was so excited about the release of this installment in The Wicked + The Divine series. Volume 2 ended on such a great cliffhanger that I was sure Volume 3 would be amazing. Unfortunately I was very, very wrong. Gillen apparently decided that the best way to capitalize on the series’ momentum was treading water and not furthering the story at all.
Commercial Suicide delves into the backstories of several of the gods in the pantheon. I’m not at all opposed to a good backstory, but when the entire books is backstory? No thanks. Not to mention that I literally had to read this volume with the wikipedia entry open so I could understand what in the world was going on. In earlier installments, I liked that the story was complicated and challenging, but I think it’s gone too far. They need to include a narrative device of some kind to help keep all the characters and complicated timeline straight. Also, the previous volumes had Laura to anchor the series into something manageable. With her missing as the protagonist, the story floats all over the place with nothing solid to latch onto.
The only thing saving this book from a two star review is the art. Apparently regular artist Jamie McKelvie was away for these issues, so they had guest artists come in and contribute. I think it really worked for the story. It makes sense to get different artists when you’re delving into backstories. Every issue feels like it could be their own comic book series. All the artists did a great job, but I especially liked issue 15 drawn by Stephanie Hans. Beautiful, beautiful work.