Sunday, August 2, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act

Title: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act
   *Series: The Wicked + The Divine
Author: Kieron Gillen
Illustrator: Jamie McKelvin
Publisher: Image Comics
Pages: Trade Paperback; 144
Recommended Age Group: 16+
Release Date: November 27, 2014
Source: Library
Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critically thermonuclear floor-fillers Young Avengers and Phonogram reunite to start a new, ongoing, superhero fantasy with a beautiful, oversized issue. Welcome to The Wicked + The Divine, where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you're immortal, doesn't mean you're going to live forever.

Collects The Wicked + The Divine #1-5.

Hello, new favorite series! I loved this first volume so much that as soon as I finished it, I opened it again and started from the beginning. Mythology, mixed with pop culture, set against the backdrop of our obsession with celebrities? This graphic novel is a thing of beauty. Both figuratively and literally.

Look, I'm going to take a second and tell you some truth. Image Comics has restored my faith in comics. They've rekindled my obsessive following of series that I love. When I came back to the world of comics at the beginning of last year, after a long time spent away, it was a whole new world. There were real portrayals of women. Real portrayals of men, who weren't part of the "capes and tights" set. There were stories that spoke to me, and ate at me. I found a place where women readers were welcomed, and celebrated. Image Comics was my window back to this world, and I can't thank them enough for it. Especially because now I get to devour their backlog.

The Wicked + The Divine has a fabulous premise. Every ninety years the Pantheon is reborn. Twelve Gods. Twelve humans whose lives these reincarnated gods irrevocably change. Two years of being loved, hated, and worshiped before they die off. The fact that this opens up so many options for settings, and ways for these gods to misbehave, has me smitten. After all, what are gods but the rock stars of the past? It only makes sense that in our modern world, they'd be exactly the same thing. Kieron Gillen takes this and runs with it, bringing all sorts of mischief and mayhem into the mix.

Yes friends, I'm addicted. Following Laura, being a part the fandom surrounding the Pantheon, was fascinating. The illustrations by Jamie McKelvie bring to life this vivid, almost gaudy world of glitz, glam, and sex. I was soon lost in this ever-shifting and dangerous world of gods. It was beautiful how Laura's image kept changing, how she kept reinventing herself to appeal to the gods. Always wanting something more than to be a mere mortal, but also afraid of the sheer power of that same wish. The gods themselves were equal parts monstrous and gorgeous. I can't express enough how impressed I was with the characters that McKelvie dreamed up to bring each of them to life. Luci, especially, stole my breath away. A bit light, a bit dark, all kinds of trouble.

I'll be following this series with a manic intensity, I can promise you that! I've already purchased both this volume (since I previously borrowed it from the library) and the second volume. I'm hooked, and I have Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie to blame.



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