★★★/★★★★★ The Wicked and the Divine Issues #1-18 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson.
Ever wondered if there is a character more stupid than Bella Swan? Than Jar-Jar Binks? Than Patrick? That character is Laura, an idiot that can’t, for some reason, realize how idiotic she is being and how in danger she is putting herself over someone she does not really know. This girl has no self-preservation, Darwin is turning in his grave. Luckily, in the later issues she sort of fixes herself, but if she were a real human being, I would move heaven and earth to not be anywhere near her.
This story follows Laura, a fangirl of the Pantheon, after she is set to prove the innocence of Lucifer in killing some people. The Pantheon is basically 12 gods that surface after 90 years, and merge their souls with humans, and then die after 2 years of immense power, which they spend throwing parties, singing to give people orgasms and orgies instead of trying to solve the world’s problems. It is no wonder people don’t believe they are gods, if they won’t even attempt to help people. I do not know if this is a commentary on fan culture, or Millennials, or obsession, but it read in such a boring manner that I was mostly underwhelmed by it. There is an instance of one old guy saying that our generation (born after 1980) did not deserve a Pantheon, for the same reasons some politicians say we don’t deserve basic rights. That is as clear as they make it, the other instances are very obscure.
The gods jump between “Look at Woden and his cheerily racist army of ethnic monocultured valkyrie fuck buddies” to “When I speak, people know that in my gut, I’m bad. They feel better about being bad in their guts.” Yes, they are mostly insane. Plus a couple stupid ones.
The series is very quick paced,I did manage to finish all issues in a couple days, but, it was too quick. Because the story flew by, nothing is ever truly explained and the story mostly introduces useless monologues by characters that add nothing no insight for new plot developments. The good thing, is that they seem to be getting the hang of it, and by issue #18, they are getting the hang of it, enough that they are making sense of the events, whether they were already set or those that they are setting. Which is very nice, since that way, it won’t seem like a waste of time for the reader.
The art however, is perfect so far, from issue #1-11 and #18-now. (Issues #12-17 have a different artist, and the story accompanied with it is lacking, even thought the desire to quit will sift through, push through it, because issue #18 was awesome.) Matt Wilson (the colourist) used vibrant colours to bring the over-the-top characters to light, and the ethereal effects the gods have on people. I am crossing my fingers in the hopes that it will continue up the hill, instead of quickly sinking down to the underworld. The characters are very smoothly drawn, there are no sharp edges, so the characters don’t appear brutal, but beautiful, which is how I would picture gods and goddesses to look. The art is the best part of the entire series.
If you can get your hands on a copy of the volumes from the library, or if there is a very good sale, this is not a bad series to pick up. Not the best out there but far from the worst one.