Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Wicked + The Divine #2 Review (Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie)

In The Wicked + The Divine, Kieron Gillen gives new meaning to the term “rock gods”! 

Every 90 years twelve gods return to Earth as young people for 2 years and then die. This time around, they’re all music stars - rockers, rappers, popstars - and someone is out to kill them. Luci (short for Lucifer) foils the assassination attempt against her and her pals in the first issue but she was arrested. In the dock, it looks like she kills the judge by snapping her fingers - but she claims it wasn’t her. 

In this second issue, Laura, a huge fangirl and our heroine, must help bring the other gods to Luci and get her out. With the help of the cynical journo from the first issue, she gets enough information to track down someone called The Morrigan who’s performing at an abandoned underground station at night.

I’m loving this series! It’s not the most action-packed title but there’s lots of great characters and wonderful interactions between them, which is what I prefer anyway. Luci’s still delightful - I’m getting a strong Loki vibe from her - and her origin story is made epic by Jamie McKelvie. Look for that awesome double splash page of her fall from ordinary girl to Luci drawn biblically epic as she literally goes through a baptism of fire! 

And that’s what makes this series stand out so much - Gillen’s script is great, his dialogue is acerbic, crackling, and witty as ever, but McKelvie’s interpretation of it on the page really elevates it from good to incredible. He makes perfect use of light and dark so that the subway sequence is perfectly balanced. First a wide panel to establish the scene, then pitch darkness with captions, then slowly more light so you can make out the escalator down, then the platform below, then the tunnel where the issue ends. He uses space so beautifully in his layouts that even the absence of his art makes the comic look more stylish than ever! And the series covers are so gorgeous - they better be made into posters because I want every single one to hang on my walls! 

I mentioned in my review of the first issue that Gillen reminded me of an amazing forgotten song - I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles - and he does it again with #2. Celebrity Skin by Hole, a song I haven’t listened to in ages, suddenly becomes the soundtrack to this issue and it couldn’t be more suited. 

The first issue was a great start, but this second issue is even better - Gillen and McKelvie are both on top form and it’s utterly magical to read. The Wicked + The Divine, guys - this is the best new Image series being published right now, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Check it out!

The Wicked + The Divine #2

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