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The Wicked + The Divine: Volume 1

Kieron Gillen (Author), Jamie McKelvie (Illustrator), Image Comics, 2014

> Review by Carolyn Marcille

Kieron Gillen has a staggering sense of culture and storytelling; his volumes are always rife with hip, meaningful characters whose social commentary is always insightful but never overbearing. The Wicked + The Divine is cool, but not in a fatuous sense; it gave me same feeling I had the first time I saw James Dean. It has that indefinable pop that makes it seem instant and stylish, while masterfully maintaining a sense of import. The story is concerned with our culture of celebrity worship, only instead of pop stars or movie A-listers, Gillen has chosen literal gods and goddesses to be the vessels for public devotion. Gillen’s deities will shatter your tired, dusty textbook expectations; they are young, gorgeous and so fashionably tricked-out that you won’t be able to get through the volume without wanting an undercut and a suit that would make David Bowie weep. The art is lively and almost glittery, and the set-up is smooth but intriguing; the reader is told in the first issue that every ninety years, twelve gods return as young people, but are dead in two years. The Wicked + The Divine is a story that uses a broad canvas to teach us intimate truths, not just about our culture, but about ourselves.

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