Review: The Wicked + The Divine #1
Title: The Wicked + The Divine #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Pencils: Jamie McKelvie
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to yet another Outright Geekery review! Today, we’ve got something special for you: the debut issue the hotly anticipated first issue of The Wicked + The Divine. Now, I have to admit that I normally don’t pick up individual issues of indie books, waiting instead for the trades. But when I heard that we were getting a new book from sensational collaborators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, the same duo that gave us the outstanding Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM books, I couldn’t resist getting in on the ground floor. And I’m glad to say that my faith was well rewarded with a very good comic book.
Following the exploits of a group of gods eternally reincarnated in the bodies of teenagers, we catch up to the group in modern times, where said immortals have, of course, become rock stars. It’s an inventive premise, and one that promises to be a lot of fun, especially because it allows this creative team to do what it does best: combining an engaging, youthful cast with a manic, over the top setting.
Time and again, Gillen and McKelvie have demonstrated an unparalleled talent for writing and drawing young characters, delivering energy and snappy dialogue, focusing on the fun of youth without resorting to angst or any of the other traps that other creators tend to fall into. One issue in, Lucifer (or Luci, as she prefers to be called) is a particular favorite of mine, capturing the same rakish charm and disarming wit that made Gillen’s Loki such a joy to read in the pages of Young Avengers and Journey Into Mystery.
And yes, this is book that is so well written that it will make you root for the Lord of Darkness.
McKelvie also delivers a characteristically strong performance, depicting beauty and horror with equal strength. With assistance from the talented Matt Wilson, this issue is awash with breathtaking colors, ranging from vibrant and psychedelic to dark and muted. This comic is a feast for the eyes, as one might expect from one of the premiere talents of the industry.
This being a first issue, there are naturally a number of questions that will need to be answered going forward. There’s plenty of characters we still need to get to know, mythology that needs to be expanded upon, and ne’er-do-wells that need exposing. But with Gillen and McKelvie at the helm, I have absolute faith that this tale of ancient gods will be something truly extraordinary. Don’t let this issue pass you by.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5