Friday, 22 August 2014

The Wicked + The Divine #3 Review (Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie)


Get the issue with the green cover of The Morrigan staring at you. It’s a great cover in itself (holy crap, the covers for this series have been stunning!) but wait ‘til you see the transformation when you turn the page - I won’t spoil the surprise but it’s like a dark flipbook! 

So, The Wicked + The Divine follows a dozen gods who get reincarnated every ninety years, live for two years, and then die. This time around they’ve been reincarnated as rock/pop/hip hop/dance stars. But one of them is dead and Lucifer has been framed. It’s up to Laura, her biggest fangirl, to help her find the killer. 

In this issue Laura’s search has taken her to an abandoned underground station where she was expecting to see someone called The Morrigan but things have gone tits up and a fire god called Baphomet is waiting instead. Another god called Badb shows up and the two battle before the riot squad appear and everything goes black… 

This is the first issue in The Wicked + The Divine that I haven’t totally loved. The idea of two gods battling underground seems cooler than the way Kieron Gillen’s written it here. In this issue, it comes off as a bit dull with no stakes really established and no clear idea of why they’re fighting. Badb’s got an interesting way of speaking though - kind of like she’s beatboxing the whole time. After the action’s over, Luci and Cass talk through the list of suspects in a really mundane fashion and then the issue’s over.

Jamie McKelvie’s art and Matthew Wilson’s colours are still totally incredible. McKelvie seems like he’s really enjoying playing with the comic, using negative space effectively, mixing up the panel sizes imaginatively - wide panels for cinematic action scenes, regular 6-8 panel grids for talky scenes - and throwing in splash pages to plateau the pacing. 

Gillen’s writing is usually more engaging than it is here which, combined with McKelvie/Wilson’s work, has made this series one hell of a follow-up to Young Avengers. #3 though is a bit of a yawner and I found myself losing interest at not even the halfway point. 

Also, I’ve gotten a song I’d forgotten out of each issue so far (#1 = The Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There, #2 = Hole’s Celebrity Skin) and with #3 I got nothing. Maybe Eminem’s Lose Yourself at a stretch but no real strong song impression for this comic, which is disappointing. 

I’m still definitely in for this series but The Wicked + The Divine #3 is a dip in quality compared to the previous two issues’ brilliance.

The Wicked + The Divine #3

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