Speaking of the break, things are much different this time around than when I last read the book. It was a bit of a jarring experience to get back into it with the personnel changes going on, a situation that is due to the simultaneous production of this and the other book by Wic/Div creators Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl.
While Gillen and McKelvie masterfully steer this ship on a regular basis for the last arc, along with colorist Matthew Wilson, while the newest Phonogram book was being done, things have been a bit different. So far, artists like Tula Lotay, Stephanie Hans, and Leila Del Duca have been taking over for the better part of an issue over this arc, and, this time, well-known artist/writer/internetter Brandon Graham makes an appearance.
The gods have all come out to play for their two years on Earth, and play they have, systematically having a small war, playing sold-out venues, and living like the incredibly popular rock stars that they are. They also kill some people and generally do things that they probably shouldn’t, which seem like a real pagan god-like move.
This issue focuses more on character development which has been a theme of the Commercial Suicide arc. The spotlight falls on Sakhmet this time, and the cat-like goddess is pretty fun to read, despite her not really seeming to care about much. She yawns her way through tense build ups, the adoration of millions, and even hard-hitting interviews about her past.
Gillen and Graham do a great job of empowering a god who doesn’t seem to have any interest in the huge events going on in the lives of her and every other god, while also making her fun. The slick and cartoon-like art style of Graham really complements the book, despite it being a bit tough to get used to at first.
McKelvie and Wilson do come back in this issue, adding a few pages at the end, but this addition almost feels out of place with the dominance of Graham throughout the book. It looks as beautiful as it always does, but the two diverging styles are a bit harder to grasp, especially after getting so used to McKelvie and Wilson doing their own thing on the series.
The saddest thing about coming back now is realizing that after this issue, the team is going on a bit of a break. With Issue #17, the group takes a small hiatus, with a return in April scheduled. That means there are three more months until this book can get back into its stride, but, until then, everyone should be enjoying what we have here and the delight that it is.