Review: “The Wicked + The Divine” #2

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Laura is on the hunt for Ananke, the mysterious and unknown god-of-gods who sires each new incarnation and who Luci believes can help, in exchange Luci has promised to make Laura a god.  She gets some help from an unlikely expert and is tasked with contacting the underground god known as “The Morrigan”.  That’s what happens in “The Wicked + The Divine” #2, but that isn’t at all what its about.  If you are looking for something especially high concept this book will delightfully perplex you.

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WRITTEN BY: Kieron Gillen
ART BY: Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson
PUBLISHER: Image

PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: July 16, 2014

Reviewed By Epic Switzer

First I want to start off by saying that I am not qualified to critique this series.  This book consistently goes way over my head and I perpetually feel that I am missing the big picture, not catching on to the themes, and totally ignoring the cultural significance and substance.  I am not ashamed to admit this because after years of studying the work of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison I believe that british writers are smarter than us, more studied than us, and tailor their work for a high minded audience.  Simply put, I’m too dumb for “The Wicked + The Divine”.

That is not to say I don’t enjoy reading it, quite the contrary.  What is on the surface is profoundly engaging, and wrapping my mind around the established mythology of popstar gods and how humans respond to their existence is really something novel.  I’m just saying that this series has a great deal of depth that I haven’t quite been able to discern or articulate yet, but my ignorance only further intrigues me.  The more I feel I am missing something the more I am consumed by this book.  I think about each issue for a long time after reading it and, for me, that has a great deal of value.  This isn’t a book you read absently, its a book that rewards attentive reading and critical thinking.  There isn’t enough of these kinds of series being produced right now, so I welcome the confusion.

What I can speak to with authority is the wonderful art and interesting layouts in this book.  In an issue containing mostly conversations between two people, the character work is really fantastic.  They are expressive, natural looking, and use body language authentically.  It makes a big difference when the characters are as physically interesting as they are psychologically.  As removed as a feel from these people I don’t yet understand, they are as vulnerable and relatable on the page as you’d like them to be.

I think it is really important to read outside your comfort zone.  I don’t really “get” this book, yet, and that’s ok.  In fact its a really good thing because it will motivate me to examine, re-read, think harder, and possibly even research.  We should all try to read things over our heads from time to time and not dismiss them for being frustrating.  Getting to know writers through their work is one of the best things about reading, and it is clear that Gillen writes from a very personal place.  I think that’s really cool, and I’ll continue reading “The Wicked + The Divine” every month and revelling in how much smarter it is than me.

Official Score