Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#ComicsWednesday: The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson

Gear up, folks, for a #TagTeamComicsWednesday review!

This week Libby and Sarah team up to gush about one of their favorite comic series: The Wicked + The Divine by writer Kieron Gillen, artist Jamie Mckelvie, and colorist Matthew Wilson (plus some notable guest artists along the way).

Twelve gods are incarnated as humans every ninety years. They become famous for what they are, treated like the ultimate celebrities. Within two years, all twelve of them are dead. We follow teen and ultimate fangirl Laura as she is given the chance to meet her heroes. Upfront warning: there is violence, death, sex, drug use, and all sorts of things that make this comic very much for adults.

If you’re waiting for the American Gods television series to premiere at the end of this month, The Wicked + The Divine might help tide you over. Likewise, if you’re waiting for The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 5 to hit the library shelves in June, check out American Gods by Neil Gaiman (if you haven't already).

Okay, I'm just going to state right up front that avoiding spoilers is going to be SO HARD. But for any readers who have managed to exist on the internet without encountering major spoilers for this series, I do not want to ruin the experience for you. Even though I'm pretty sure Libby and I could fill this entire post with our favorite fan theories and unanswered questions.

SO MANY QUESTIONS. SO FEW ANSWERS. It's one of the best and most frustrating things about this series. If you're a fan of cliffhangers, TW+TD has you covered.

But oh boy, do tiny, cryptic references pay off BIG later on down the line.

Yeah, like “I hope you were paying attention to that random one-liner in the first issue because THAT MEANS EVERYTHING NOW AND NOTHING WILL EVER BE OKAY AGAIN.” I mean, that might be an exaggeration, but that’s how it makes me feel.

Haha. No. You were right: nothing WILL ever be okay again. Don’t get too attached to anyone. This is some Game of Thrones level of say goodbye to your favorites...

Best idea: don’t pick favorites. Easier said than done, but it’s the only way to escape emotional trauma. But before the reader gets the wrong idea, this series is 100% worth the emotional trauma. I think one of my favorite things about this series is the worldbuilding

The worldbuilding starts subtle. This feels like a very contemporary England, with fairly regular people, but they gradually add in the history and depth through bits and pieces and cryptic hints until before you know it you’re signed up for a fictional character’s mailing list.

I knew I wasn’t the only one who signed up for that list. I also learned more about gods and goddesses than I ever thought I would, and I went through a mythology phase as a child, so...

That mythology phase must be a librarian thing ;) But this is some Advanced Level mythology. Some of these gods and goddesses were totally new to me.

The array of gods and goddesses from different cultures, as well as how they interact, is fascinating. UGH, there is so much I want to type in all caps here, but there is only so much flailing we can put on the official library blog.

Okay, sure, but. The characters. How can I not flail when there are such dimensional, human, fallible yet lovable characters? EVEN MIRROR FACE THE AWFUL. Even him. A little.

Daft Punk Is Playing At My Pantheon? I KNOW. I can’t even pick a favorite character to talk about. They are all so realistic while somehow still being otherworldly. I think we have to at least talk about Laura, our POV character.

Laura is right up there in my genuine favs. Not just because she’s the regular human fangirl view to this whole supernatural circus that we’re MEANT to identify with as readers completely new to this universe, but because she has a self-awareness and is just so totally herself.

We identify with Laura right away, but her growth through the series is why I love her so much. She starts out as a fangirl, blogging and tweeting about this Pantheon, but when she meets them, they’re much more human than she expected.

And she handles that, both the excitement of meeting her heroes and the disappointment of their not being quite the people she imagined, so very well. So much better than I would’ve at 18.

This comic is, in a word, intense.

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