So I went on a little hiatus, but I’m back with something a little different than the Secret Wars stuff that I’ve been reviewing lately.

Twelve gods have returned to earth, and they’re teenagers, at least that’s the premise for Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s series, The Wicked + The Divine.  The return of the gods is not a harbinger of the end times, or even a sign that they’re mad at us mortals, it’s just something that happens every ninety years.  It’s always a different set of twelve, and when they arrive, some are loved, while others are hated and feared.  The most recent group to show up are treated like pop stars.  Thousands of people flock to see them like fans to rock concerts.  One of these fans, Laura, is put into a position where she’ll have to try and help one of the gods who has been framed for a murder she didn’t commit.

Gillen writes a really interesting story here that is as much a character study of humanity as it is a work of fiction.  When these gods put themselves out there, their are like religious followers going to church to hear their message.  Some of the fans are even overcome with so much emotion that they faint.  It’s an interesting look at how we can treat modern teen idols almost like religious icons, except in this story the teen idols are the religious icons.  The only difference is that rather than going to a church to praise and worship the idea of a deity through song, the words of a preacher, and a possible spiritual awakening or connection, here there is the possibility of a direct physical connection with the deity of choice.  It’s a peculiar idea that Gillen works pretty well through a very sparse and grounded writing style, that tends to emphasize the mundane over the extraordinary.

McKelvie’s artwork follows in that same vein.  Character designs and drawings are very simple straightforward, and the perspective is static almost all the way through.  This accentuates the story by keeping things grounded.  These gods are still the same all powerful beings that we’ve believe them to be, however, this is their human form, which tends to make us forget just what they’re capable of.  It also makes the effect doubly strong when extraordinary things happen that can’t be explained through rational means.

I wouldn’t say the story or the art in this book is jaw-dropping by any means, but if you are looking for a new and interesting take on the closed room murder mystery give this one a shot.  The characters themselves are interesting enough to carry the story for a while, and the reveal at the end of this volume is definitely enough to get me to read volume two.

The Verdict for The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 1:
4/5 – I can dig it.

If you like this review, or any of my others, don’t forget to subscribe!

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Civil War #4 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Planet Hulk #5 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Secret Wars Journal #5
Captain America: White #1
RunLoveKill, Volume 1


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