Here’s an incredibly obvious statement: The Wicked + The Divine is a comic about performance. Like, yeah, dude, do you remember the very first double-page spread? It’s like page 10 of issue #1.
‘Performance’ is always the word WicDiv chooses for the gods doing their artistic thing. Not show, or concert, or act. Most likely, that’s to help separate it from music – especially important when dealing with past pantheons, with their writer gods, cinema gods, theatre gods and so on – but I think it’s a telling choice.
Look at what Ananke – who is presumably the arbiter of this vocabulary – has to say about performance, in issue #9:She means that it’s easier to decapitate a god when they’re performing, but it makes sense because of the truth in the underlying metaphor. Art is a way of bearing your soul to people, and doing that live, with people in the room, who probably paid to be there? Well, I’m just thankful I’m a writer.
This isn’t the only kind of performance in WicDiv, though. There’s also a kind that has the opposite effect: performed identity.