This Week's Read: The Wicked and The Divine / by Jaz Malone


The Wicked and The Divine is a comic from Image, whose latest lineup has been absolutely killing it. Created by Kieron Gillen (writer), Jamie McKelvie (artist), Matthew Wilson (colorist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer), TWATD details a modern recurrence of 12 gods. This recurrence happens every 90 years; they mysteriously die after two years on earth, and this time, gods have returned as pop stars.
If you think you've heard the names Gillen and McKelvie before, it's probably from their critically acclaimed re-branding of Young Avengers.

The main character of TWATD, a teen named Laura, is obsessed with the gods. She attends all of their concerts, and would do anything to become a god herself. After witnessing a murder, Laura ends up further involved with the gods than she'd like as she tries to uncover who committed the crime.

Things I didn't enjoy (and I'm reaching, because I enjoyed pretty much all of it):

1) The story reads from the viewpoint of a teenager (Laura), so I was a bit annoyed at times. There's enough snarky narration to go around, possibly too much. I understand the appeal, though. Gillen definitely knows his target audience, and the narration didn't keep me from reading.

2)  I realize this is insanely nit-picky, but I was slightly thrown by the inconsistent use of screen tones. They're there, and then they're not. They convey shadow and texture, and then they don't. PICK A THING.

Things I did enjoy:

1) The variety of characters:
     a) An obviously biracial main character. Her dad is Black, her mom is White, and it's not presented as any sort of issue. It just is.
     b) A trans woman as the journalist covering the gods' stories. Maybe I'm just behind on my popular comics, but I don't see trans people represented often, if at all.
     c) Lucifer, AKA The Father of Lies, AKA "Luci," a woman in a fantastic suit.

2) The story is cool. Pop stars are often treated like gods, but in TWATD, they actually are. It represents both a fun world, and a world in which I'd never want to live (if Kanye was an actual deity like he seems to think he is, I'd throw a conniption).