Comic Review – The Wicked + The Divine #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of his favourite one, with potential minor spoilers.

This week I read The Wicked + The Divine #1 from Image Comics, written by Kieron Gillen and art from Jamie McKelvie, with colours by Matthew Wilson and letters from Clayton Cowles. I had seen a fair bit of promotion about this series, somehow managing to skip over what it is actually about but remaining interested in it.

The Wicked + The Divine kicks off with a cryptic prologue set in 1923, titled ‘Once Again’ – a mantra repeated a couple of times and the meaning of which becomes clearer later on, as does the random finger clicking. The time line moves on to present day London in the main story ‘1-2-3-4’ where we meet our main cast. The Wicked + The Divine centres on various young adults with apparently incredible powers. To most they appear to be a combination of rockstar and god, taking on names from a variety of different cultures including Japanese Shinto and Egyptian mythology. So far we have three women – Lucifer (or ‘Luci’), Sakhmet and Amaterasu (and Susanoo in 1923), but it is hinted that there are twelve ‘immortals’ in total. We see their world through the eyes of Laura attending one of Amaterasu’s gatherings, which is basically a concert that ends with everyone passing out (many with orgasms apparently) through sheer bliss. When Laura wakes up she meets Lucifer, who lets her come and listen while a reporter berates the group accusing them of being fakes. There is an insinuation here that this has all happened before, ‘The Recurrence’, and that they are reincarnations (or think themselves as such) of gods. Just as the reporter, Cassandra, disputes the veracity of the miracles they can perform, and why they don’t show them off if they can, masked men attempt an assassination. This ends extremely badly for the would-be assassins, and it turns out that finger clicking causes people’s heads to explode. There are consequences and complications to this, the resolution of which appears to be the direction the series will head.

The story is a difficult one to describe, as I have skillfully just displayed, but it really was interesting and unlike anything I’m reading at the moment. It has a glam-rock style and a set of characters that were intriguing. Gillen’s writing is great here, and we had the world fleshed out with background through the dialogue in a way that served the story perfectly, rather than feeling clunky and expositional. The art team really shone here too, the double page splash at the concert in particular looked gorgeous, and I don’t think I have ever seen such a vividly colourful and beautiful depiction of someone’s head exploding.

I need to pick up an issue of something I really dislike one of these weeks, because the number of new series that I am completely on board with is starting to hurt my wallet a lot. This was a really interesting read, check it out in your local comic book shop or online.

Score: 9 Finger Clicks out of 10

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