I’d been circling around The Wicked + The Divine #1 for a while now, so I made sure to get my hands on it, and see what was up. I am so glad I did. This comic is absolutely engaging.
Every century or thereabouts, a group of 12 gods become human and live as humans with special powers for two years before they must die, and then do it all over again. The Wicked + The Divine #1 starts off at a mysterious meeting on New Year’s Eve in 1923. With a click of their fingers four people (gods) are blown to smithereens while a masked woman looks on. I’m sure there’ll be more on her in the other issues.
Fast forward to 2014, and several of the gods are mega pop stars and/or in the pop music industry, Lucifer (just call “her” Luci…) included. One who goes by Amaterasu is the equivalent to Beyonce, except she purports to be able to commit miracles. What was super striking about this is that while Amaterasu gives an interview to a local camera crew, there was a pop star there named Sakhmet that was the spitting image of Rihanna. I’m sure she was the inspiration behind the character’s appearance. While she initially sits there just watching with a blank stare, eventually as the interview turns sour, she literally pounces on people because of red dots from lasers. Then it becomes very clear that she’s supposed to be Sekhmet, the ancient Egyptian goddess of warfare, menstruation, and a bunch of other stuff that also makes her an awesome multitasker.
The bad news is those lasers came from high-powered rifles with powerful scopes manned by Christian vigilantes from a building rooftop across the way. Thoroughly pissed off, Luci jumps up to face the vigilantes, killing them most violently with one flick of the fingers. She’s hauled off by the authorities, but the fun doesn’t stop there because all hell breaks loose (no pun intended) at her deposition. I won’t ruin it for you. You will just have to pick it up anyway.
Here are few reasons why The Wicked + The Divine got me hook, line, and sinker. First, you can’t go anywhere on YouTube or online without finding a very vocal group of people who believe that our current pop tarts and rappers are part of the Illuminati or some occult cabal engaging in some really awful shit. Secondly, it makes you think. For some people, Beyonce is damn near a goddess herself, only because she can belt out a few good tunes, wears a good outfit, and can dance her ass off. Some people have made their living on their fangasm-ing out for the likes of her and others. The Wicked + The Divine takes the reality of how we see certain celebrities and adds a supernatural element that adds a whole new, fantastic layer.
Not only was writer Kieron Gillen able to pull me in and shock me, artist James McElvie and colorist Matthew Wilson, provided highly stylized visuals on each page. The colors and the art were modern and beautiful, with each character jumping out the page at the reader. Let’s put it like this, they didn’t hold back.
I’m chomping at the bit for The Wicked + The Divine #2, so that review should be coming shortly.