Hello lovely people!
I warned you there would be a lot of graphic novels reviews coming up! Today’s about what was mostly considered to be the best graphic novel of 2014, The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.
WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL REFERENCES
Find any editions of this title over at Book Depository
There was a lot of hype surrounding this comic series during the past year but it only really caught my eye when all the lists off containing the best titles from 2014 came out. All of those had one thing in common: The Wicked + The Divine was (mostly) number one. Then I decided that I just HAD to read this! My boyfriend’s birthday was coming up and, as a fellow comic book nerd, he wanted to read and own this title. So I got it for him and read it while I had it with me! That’s still borrowing right?!
The main authors of this series are Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (even thought the whole team is a lot bigger). This is not the first time they’ve worked together. Things like Young Avengers and Phonogram are also their creations. A lot of people consider them to be one of the most promising teams in comics today.
This story has the best premise ever to be honest. Every ninety years, twelve normal people are selected, by some higher power, to reincarnate as Gods. They are beings from different mythologies, so there’s really a lot of variety of personalities and powers. They’ll live for only two years and then completely vanish. Gods become almost rockstars, giving concerts and providing some kind of divine experience from everyone. (The books starts with one of those concerts, it’s seems so crazy and magical!) It all begins with Laura, a teenage girl that, just like any other, is completely obsessed with the Gods. She goes to all of their performances in London. In one of these, she is chosen and dragged by Luci (the reincarnation of Lucifer) to a situation that just dramatically escalates throughout the book. Below, there’s the panel telling the awesome transformation from normal person to the “devil”. (Also, Luci is a girl, even though she has a very androgynous look. She reminds me of David Bowie actually. How cool is that?!)
The Wicked + The Divine’s middle name should be “wild ride”! Seriously, I’ve never read anything like this. This trade paperback is full of twists and turns. I read this only in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down before I reached the end. There was always something happening, I was constantly at the edge of my seat! It’s much longer than your typical trade paperback but there couldn’t be another way. The point where it stops, it’s just perfect. For anyone who was enjoying the story so far, there were only two thoughts in their minds: “this can’t end with this!!!” and “I want MORE!!!!”. All the characters are so interesting, specially the Gods! Everyone’s so eccentric, colourful and crazy! The only down point that I have regarding the whole of this book, is, what I suppose, to be the usage of old english. It’s not always very accessible, specially for someone that isn’t an english native speaker or doesn’t has a knowledge of the old language (like myself). The Morrigan – pictured bellow – specially, talks in a very old fashioned way. That can throw some readers off, since they don’t easily understand what is being said. I confess that those parts took me a little bit of time to read but were great nevertheless.
Oh, and the style of the drawings is just perfect! I love the way everything is so colourful and cartoonish. The shadows, the lines, the colours – everything has such a strong look! It feels different and yet familiar. I got a feeling that I was reading and seeing stills from a very good cartoon tv show. Reading this was really a experience! I loved the character design, especially from the Gods. They are all very different and their personalities completely show off from their looks. The edition is not only very long, but it also has lots and lots of bonus content! Every chapter is divided by the cover of their single issues. In the end, it’s featured several variant covers, sketches and a preview for the next volume. It has the variant cover made by Bryan Lee O’Malley, the writer/artist behind Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World series (and a lot more)! It’s so amazing. I enjoy bonus content more than anything! It makes me so happy to see it in any type of book. For some reason, it always feels so caring. Plus, I love to see the processes made.
I haven’t read a lot of things by Image but I think they are just KILLING it lately. With the amazing popularity of Saga (I did a review for the first volume), Sex Criminals, Deadly Class, and now The Wicked + The Divine (I’m just naming a few), Image cannot be stopped. I bet is very hard to destroy the empire of Marvel and DC but Image is slowly working its way up.
I absolutely thought this comic was perfect. I don’t have anything that bad to say about it. What I do have to say is: GO READ IT! I guarantee you that it’ll make your life a whole better. If you have read this title, please let me know in the comments!
I hope you liked this review! Stay tuned for more!