Book Review: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrations), Matt Wilson (Colorist)

Thursday, 1 January 2015 21:12
Title: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act
Authors: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrations) and Matt Wilson (Colorist)
Publication Date: November 12th, 2014
Genres: Graphic Novels, Dark Fantasy, Adult
Rating: 5 of 5 stars


Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.


Review:

Well, hello, gorgeous cover!



The Wicked and the Divine has a very interesting concept. It's like a rough spin on something we're are all completely familiar with: Pop Stars. They're everywhere, they are addicting, they are our idols. In this beautifully illustrated graphic novel, the gods are the pop stars and the pop stars are the gods.Everyone would love to be them, they worship them but alas, they die within two years. They can have all their glory and fame only for two years and they get reincarnated after ninety years. 

Don't ask me why. The first volume didn't go into the very fine details of their existence and their reincarnations and all the hows' and whys' but I'm hoping the later volumes would clear all these questions.

This graphic novel contains a lot of characters, most of them are Gods from different religions and folklores. I wasn't too familiar with the Gods themselves but Wikipedia is always our dear old friend.

Meet Laura, our very easy-to-relate to main character:



Laura is human. She's a die-hard fan of the Gods. And she would do anything to be one of them. I can completely understand her. It's always very nice when your main character is easy to understand and connect with. 

The story starts off with Laura attending a concert where she is completely mesmerized with a God named Amaterasu who is a sun goddess according to the Japanese mythology. Among the twelve Gods mentioned in this book, she is the only one with a lot of patience and kindness. 


Isn't the artwork just utterly beautiful?

It was during this concert that a very famous goddess named Luci (short for Lucifer) speaks to Laura. This incident immediately pulls our main character into a series of completely mysterious events in which Laura is very happy to help the Gods because all she ever wanted was a taste of their powers. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I, most of all, loved the artwork. Heck, I think I'm going to sketch these characters because they're so damn beautiful. It's the best artwork I've seen so far. 


Just look at the beauty! My fingers are itching for my pencils!

The characters in this book are from different races and they are completely unique and extremely gorgeous and most of them are female. The diversity in these characters is something I also loved very much about because it is quite rare to have so many characters from different races in a graphic novel. These characters stretched and grew so much in this book, it was just so fascinating to watch them. 

I feel like this book tries to tell us that celebrities are just as influential as religion and what good we get out of it is the biggest ambiguous question here. Gillen has taken on a very intriguing concept which will stay on the readers mind long after reading.

The characters, to be specific, the Gods are diverse in this book and now I will try my best to explain what powers they have and which mythologies they originate from. (Don't let this extra reading scare you away.)

Luci aka Lucifer:



The Prince of darkness and all things evil is portrayed as an androgynous woman in this graphic novel. She's a very interesting character who is still exploring her various capabilities. I think all the gods are trying to understand how much they can extend themselves. Remember, they didn't sign up for this.

Amaterasu:



Like I mentioned earlier, she is a sun goddess and also one of the kindest among the Gods. She has two brothers, Susanoo who is mentioned briefly in the beginning and Tsukuyomi who is not mentioned so far. According to his book, she spreads this addictive kind of euphoria while she sings in her concerts and that's one of the reasons why everyone just simply adores her.

Sakhmet:


Doesn't she look a bit like Rihanna?

Sakhmet is the lion headed goddess from the Egyptian mythology who is associated with vengeance, warfare, healing and various other things. We don't see much of her in this volume as much as I wanted to. 

The Morrigan:



The Morrigan is undoubtedly one of the most interesting characters in this book. She could be extremely confusing if you don't know Irish mythology. She is three people. She switches according to her mood. She's known as the Phantom Queen and is considered to be the goddess of battle and death and also is said to take the form of a crow. It is also said that she can tell who would live and who would die in a battle and this was an inspiration to a very common mythical creature called a banshee whose screams also predict death.

I really liked this character a lot. She was so very intriguing and I cannot wait to know more about her.

Baphomet:


He's kinda hot, isn't he?

He's known as the False God and is associated with paganism and witchcraft. We encounter him briefly in the book. 

Baal:



The name Baal is not a specific god but it's used as Semitic term to any god worshipped in the Near East. His symbol is a goat and I honestly don't know much about him. He does make quite a few appearances in the book and his various powers are yet to be known.

Ananke:



She is the destiny decider and a very, very powerful person. She is portrayed as a protector of the Gods in this book and all the decisions regarding them are made by her. 

There are several other Gods but they haven't been mentioned a lot in this book and I'm hoping the later volumes will have more info about them.

Even though there are lots to be researched about these gods, I think this is a pretty incredible graphic novel. It would be amazing as a movie or a TV show. (Please make it a movie or a TV show!) I know for certain that this is one of the best graphic novels I've read in 2014 and I very highly recommend it.

A little something I drew from this gorgeous comic. There will definitely be lots more! :)




Hershey