I’ve been a bit quiet lately, but I just read The Wicked and the Divine #1, and have to make at least a brief post. There’s always a handful of books that everyone agrees are the cream of the crop. Right now that includes Saga, Rat Queens, Hawkeye, Astro City… and add to these kinds of lists, The Wicked and the Divine. Yes, it’s that good.
The creative team of Gillen and McKelvie have an excellent track record. Recently they were behind the very good Young Avengers series. Before that, though, they did two volumes of a unique title called Phonogram. It’s about magic and music and a very particular time and place. I don’t know that time or place at all, but they have such obvious passion for the art they are creating, it’s still on my list of my favorite comic works of all time. (Both of them, but especially the second one, Singles Club.) It’s this kind of work that keeps me reading comics.
The Wicked and the Divine is not Phonogram – Gillen has an essay in the back that’s essentially saying this – but it has the good parts in common. There’s a raw passion driving this title that you rarely see. The god-characters are a little more real than real somehow. We mostly see the Lucifer character, but that’s more than okay – she leaps off the page in a uniquely compelling way.
We’ve seen a lot of comics about mythology crashing into the modern world. I’m very pleased to say this is not any of those other ones. It’s not Sandman, it’s not Fables, it’s not Crossing Midnight. It’s a fresh and individual voice, of singular quality.
This is what we’re looking for, people. I could give a plot summary, but that’s not the point. If you want something really different and compelling, if you like mythology and the unexplained, if you want charismatic characters, give this one a try. Just click on the pretty picture, or go to your friendly local comic store (or if you’re in Chicago, go to my friendly local comic store, only don’t, because like a lot of them Alley Cat sold out by 5pm on Wednesday, yay pre-orders!) But the point is, if you’re looking for recommendations, this gets my highest, you know what to do.