After a staggeringly good first story arc, "The Wicked + The Divine" #6 begins the second storyline in Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's new series. And while this initial chapter may feel a bit slow to some, it's building a rock-solid foundation for the rest of "Fandemonium" to stand on.
Some of "The Wicked + The Divine" #6 will feel like a logical next step as we see the aftermath of Lucifer's death; the response t-shirts, the interviews (and declined interviews), the slow gleaning of information. But what you might not have expected quite so much was a delving into Laura's psyche, as we see what she's up to (or a lack thereof). Watching her react to the people around her is telling, but the moments that really stand out are the mental conversation (or lack thereof) with her mother, and the map of Laura's room.
The first is something that could be tackled in any number of mediums, but it's very effective here. By dropping out the background so that Laura's standing in a void, it provides a good visual nod to the fact that this isn't happening in reality, that we're removed from the world around Laura at the moment. Gillen's script is fun in part because of how it both rambles and also pulls everything out of Laura's psyche; exposition can be entertaining, and that's exactly what we get here, especially with the expressive gestures drawn by McKelvie.
The second is something that really would only work well in the comic medium, and I love how perfectly the duo nail, "The Life of Laura Wilson, Aged Seventeen and Three Quarters" (and not only because of the shout out to the "Adrian Mole" books). Each annotated object in Laura's room tells us something, be it her state of mind, her taste in decorations, and the things that she's afraid to admit to herself. They're crisply rendered, even as we get a dash of an unreliable narrator going on when Laura admits that her floor isn't really that clean. This panel with its lettering underneath manages to take three quarters of a page and make it a moment where you get to look back and forth, dwell on each addition, and spend time where you might have otherwise zipped ahead to the next page. You get your money's worth with, "The Wicked + The Divine" #6, of that there's no doubt.
There are so many lovely little touches throughout this comic; the sparkling on the envelope from Inanna, the amazing outfit that Inanna wears (and the glimpse into Inanna's past), the dangerous revelation delivered and Laura's next step that promises to kick "Fandemonium" into high gear. Are you ready for what's in store? You better be. "The Wicked + The Divine" #6 has great promise for what's still to come. In a year with lots of great new series, "The Wicked + The Divine" stands out as a must-read.