Publisher: Image Comics
Released: November 12th 2014
Issues: The Wicked + The Divine 1-5
The Wicked + The Divine is a fantastic series, and one I’ve been meaning to get caught up on for ages. It’s creative team consists of Kieron Gillen (Young Avengers, Star Wars: Darth Vader, Phonogram, Uncanny X-Men), Jamie McKelvie (Young Avengers, Phonogram), Matt Wilson (Wonder Woman, Young Avengers Phonogram, Swamp Thing), and Claytown Cowles (Unbelievable Gwenpool, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, and so much more).
The premise behind The Wicked + The Divine is pretty interesting. Essentially there are twelve deities in this world that are capable of a form of reincarnation. They can come back to earth, but they must do so in a new host. My understanding is the two personalities merge together, giving the human host supernatural abilities and of course a ton of fame. It sounds ideal, so of course there’s a catch. The human’s lifespan is significantly shortened.
The gods included in this series are from a whole slew of different mythologies, which is actually pretty interesting. Included are: Ananke (Greek; mother of fates, she also appears to be the informer, caretaker, and enforcer among the gods on earth); Lucifer (Yes, that Lucifer; the series focuses more on the angelic origins than many others do; they’re a rebel and seem to enjoy stirring the pot); Baal (Means ‘lord’ could be one of many gods in the Middle East; not completely sure where his tendencies are, other than being able to get a woman to do whatever he wants; also main character totally crushes on him); Woden (Norse god, god of fury; seen so far only in motorcycle gear); Amaterasu (Shinto, represents the sun, which explains the bright and fiery motif); Susanoo (Shinto, god of storms; seems bored most of the time); Sakhmet (Probably Bast? Warrior goddess, clearly has some fertility basis as well; likes to chase laser lights); The Morrigan (Irish, appears to be different goddesses? Her appearance changes based on what she is doing; I would argue the most powerful/terrifying of the lot); Baphomet (Not sure which religion; looks like a rockstar and seems to like pretending he’s on a stage); Minerva (Roman goddess of wisdom and arts; not sure how her powers work yet, but she’s currently in a child’s body); Innana (Sumerian goddess of love/fertility/war, looks like a female Prince, not sure what her powers will entail yet); Tara (no idea, I’ve only seen a couple images of her and had to look her up to figure out who she was). Wow, that ended up being A LOT longer than I meant it to be. Sorry about that!
I’ve got to be honest with you here, the first thing that drew me into this series was the absolutely stunning covers I kept seeing all over the place. I probably would have read and loved this series for the artwork alone. That being said, I really like the story included, as well as the characters I’ve met so far.
I know I know, the idea of reincarnation through new host’s sounds kind of lame, but trust me; it’s absolutely worth giving it a shot. The creative team does a fantastic job with the characters, and it never ends up feeling hokey or lame. I promise.
What I loved the most about this series was the choice to have the main character NOT be one of the reincarnated gods. This was actually a brilliant move, it allows us to have a window into the world, and they can even have the main character, Laura, be a total fangirl to the gods and goddesses (which is actually pretty amusing at times).
The sense of humor for this series is spot on as well, there was more than one time I literally burst out laughing. It balances out the heavier moments quite nicely. Despite the humor in the series they managed to make the gods be threatening as needed (some more than others).
I was a bit intimidated by the huge cast of characters at first; especially once I realized that the gods/goddesses would be changing bodies with a decent amount of frequency, but I’m happy to say that they’ve actually done a wonderful job of keeping every one of them clear and distinct. It’s actually pretty impressive. I’m also pleased they capped the gods at twelve, instead of constantly adding a new one or two each volume (well, I’m assuming they’ll still to twelve, but not having read further I actually can’t say that with any certainty).
I’m anxious to start reading the second volume. As always when I’m behind in a series, I’m actually thankful that I can binge read the series. I have a feeling I’m going to be upset once I’m up to date and have to wait between each issue/volume.