Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 2: Fandemonium Review (Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie)

In this weak second volume of The Wicked + The Divine, superfan Laura and journalist Cassandra investigate Luci’s would-be assassins and uncover the “dark heart of fandom”; Baphomet discovers that death gods can kill other gods and steal their life force, extending their own time beyond the 2 years they’re given; and The Pantheon is complete as the final gods appear.

Kieron Gillen’s story for this book is incredibly thin. I’m not really sure why it’s important for Laura and Cassandra to find out who Luci’s failed assassins were because 1) they proved their incompetence and aren’t a threat, and 2) Luci’s dead anyway. Also, Laura’s “investigation” involves her going to raves and underground parties, doing drugs and dancing which isn’t just utterly tedious to read but wholly ineffective! Without going into spoilers, the reveal of who the assassins were is also really anticlimactic.

So the focus of this book is the masses of fans who’re into these gods of music and the extremes they’ll go to being close to them. Something called The Prometheus Gambit is mentioned, a rumour where if you kill a god, you get their powers, and things come to a head at Ragnarock, a London music festival. A lot of this is underdeveloped in the script and anyway it’s not terribly interesting in the first place. Most of the time you’re just reading tons of dreary expository dialogue and the focus on music and poseur inanity reminded me of Phonogram, Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s earlier collaboration which I disliked.

McKelvie’s art though is outstanding. The head-shot covers to the single issues remain the best comics covers being published at the moment and the character designs are absolutely superb – it’s easy to see why Marvel turned to McKelvie when designing their new Ms Marvel’s outfit! The transformation sequence into gods remains uniquely eye-catching and brilliantly imagined. Dionysus’ rave scene might’ve been dull to read but it looked incandescently beautiful and the Norns’ first performance at Ragnarock looked awesome too. On the whole, no complaints whatsoever about McKelvie and colourist Matthew Wilson’s work in this book – it was first class, all the way!

The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 2: Fandemonium is a slow-moving, unfocused and very boring read which is disappointing as I really enjoyed the first book. It’s still a great-looking comic but Gillen’s made me feel ambivalent about the series, despite the WTF?! finale.

Ah, well. Congrats to Kieron and Jamie anyway – WicDev is gonna be a TV show!

The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 2: Fandemonium

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