The Wicked + The Divine: V. 1 The Faust Act
Written by: Kieron Gillen
Illustrated and Colored by: Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, Clayton Cowles
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Image Comics
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel/Series
Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world 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
I love comic books. They are visual storytelling at its best when it goes to the bibliosphere. I get lost in the stories and the artwork. Oh the artwork. Sure, I am a big giant Marvel fangirl, but for some time now I have become an Image fangirl. When you have series like Chew, The Walking Dead, Bitch Planet, Pretty Deadly, Monstress, Rat Queens, Saga, Sex Criminals, and more how can you not be a fan of what Image is putting out.
Mythology is also my jam. Though I am most well versed in Greek, Celtic, and Norse pantheons, I love mythology stories. I also love stories about the Gods on Earth. The Endless of Neil Gaiman and the Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony were favorites of mine growing up (Still are as well). If the Divine were on Earth who and what would they be now? How would we see them? Where would they gain their worship and power?
I had seen Wicked + Divine, heard about how awesome Gillen and McKelvie were with the series, but it took me a while to pick it up (I love trades instead of single issues these days). And finally I picked up the Faust Act. All I can say is what the frak took me so long.
Normal humans who discover that they are incarnates of various Gods is a great premise. Sure you get fame, money, and superpowers. But your life is over in just a short two years. Is the trade worth it? Plus how much of you is still in there?
Laura is a fan girl of the Gods. She idolizes and worships them. She wants to be one of them, part of them. While she is attending a concert starring the goddess Amaterasu, Luci (Lucifer) invites Laura to join her. Why on Earth would Laura refuse? All she has ever wanted is to be part of them. Laura wants to help Luci. But maybe there is more going on with the Gods than she ever knew.
Things I liked: Oh my, oh my. The artwork is the divine here. It is bright, vivid and full of color. It is so many things that I love. How could I not be hooked by the artwork alone. McKelvie’s art is magnificent and I love the color palettes so props go out to Matt Wilson as well. So, while yes the art captivated me, there is so much more to love about this series.
Yay Diversity. Not only is the pantheon diverse, but so are the characters. Granted a good portion of them are female, but I am so okay with that. Speaking of Pantheons, you have Lucifer (Christian), the Morrigan (Celtic), Sakhmet (Egyptian), Amaterasu (Japanese) and more. They each have their own look and personality as well. Of course Luci and the Morrigan (in all her incarnations) are my favorite characters. So many cosplay goals for Kailey and I next year. *crossing fingers*
Luci (Lucifer), as I said, is awesome. She is androgynous, rocking the Annie Lennox/Thin White Duke vibe, and sexy as all frak. Princess of Darkness and one hell of a snazzy dresser, she is one of my favorites. She is still not sure how much power she has in this realm and though confident, understands that she may have crossed the line and might be in some serious trouble. Then you have Amaterasu who is sweet and kind. In a way she reminds me of Stevie Nicks meets Florence and the Machine with maybe a pinch of Kate Bush.
The Morrigan: She is my second best character. Okay maybe tied with Luci. Badb, Macha, or Anu (Annie) I don’t care, I love each of her aspects. This is not just because of the crows or the solid goth vibe, though admittedly that helps. The Morrigan has always been part of life with the stories my mom told me when I was little (yay Celtic heritage). Yep, so many cosplay goals. So hard. So many. Sigh. I should get working on that.
You also have Sakhmet, a lion headed Egyptian goddess who looks a lot like Rhianna and Baal who is pretty much Kanye. Like I said how could you not love all of these characters? It makes sense that the Gods would be pop and rock idols, pop culture superstars, and social media mavens. They are worshipped and idolized. Why wouldn’t the Gods be pop culture idols? But seriously, I love all of their looks, their body language, and their otherness. And Laura…well she is us. Our window into the Gods world, the fangirl.
The first volume sets up the world and out band of players. Of course the Gods rarely place nice with one another. That is why reading about them is so much fun. It is a slow build for the most part until the latter half of this first outing and then BANG! Wait! What? Exploding heads and other plot things. No, no, no, no. There are a lot of unanswered questions. Why come back? Why only two years before death? Who else is now here on Earth? Well and all of that pesky whodunit. *smile* Sure the first half may be a slow build but you are setting the story. I think the story is going to be an epic one and I cannot wait to read the next volume.
The Milkfed Criminal Masterminds (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction) will produce the series for TV (Along with Sex Criminals). I am crossing my fingers hoping they both make it to my small screen. Oh and did you want a soundtrack to read by. Good thing Gillen made one for you. Check it out here: https://play.spotify.com/user/missadalovelace/playlist/11LAaVMMhxPfSp4i2b6JRJ
Things I didn’t like so much: There wasn’t a whole lot that I didn’t like. While some might complain about the slow build, I didn’t mind it. In fact, sometimes I felt like too many Gods were being introduced. It was a little confusing plus I wanted to learn more about each of them.
Buy or Borrow: Buy. I think you will like it.
Part of: Series.
Also Recommended: if you are a fan of the Gods on earth please check out the Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman or Lucifer by Mike Carey. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is also a great read. For more great Image comics please check out Chew, The Walking Dead, Bitch Planet, Pretty Deadly, Monstress, Rat Queens, Saga, Sex Criminals.
4 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks