Gillen and McKelvie are both incredibly talented, I have nothing but the utmost respect for both of them and their work but I sincerely cannot fathom the appeal of this book. And with “The Wicked + The Divine” #3 my confusion has hit critical mass.
WRITTEN BY: Kieron Gillen
ART BY: Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson
RELEASE: August 20, 2014
Reviewed By Torbin Chimners
I pick up most indie first issues I see because I’ll give anything a shot. I’ve been pleasantly surprised more times than I’ve been letdown; this is not one of those pleasant times. With the massive amount of hype surrounding “The Wicked + The Divine,” I had to pick it up. I gave it a shot. Wasn’t for me. Second issue rolled around and that Zdarsky variant cover was too good to pass up, so I picked it up too. It still wasn’t for me. Now I’m here to review issue #3, because everyone knows universal praise is no fun without a little bit of criticism.
So we’ve got a wooden protagonist who’s celebrity worship is so off the charts it’s almost sickening. She’s literally working to clear Lucifer’s name and help out any gods she can on the way. We’re supposed to care and/or feel bad for these all-powerful god-celebrities, who, instead of helping humanity in any constructive way, choose to become the cockiest, most pompous celebrities who’ve ever existed.
Sure, there’s one character who seems to be the voice of reason in issue #1, but now she’s a couple prayers away from being just part of the gang. It’s all completely maddening. Following the beginning of the issue, is what amounts to a size contest between two of the gods with hundreds of human lives at risk. They’re all basically about to become collateral damage, once again due to the unimaginable irresponsibility of these “totally cool and rad” god-celebrities. While the story is weak here, McKelvie’s visuals are outstanding, jaw-droppingly so.
That whole kerfuffle eventually leads Laura to the only likable/relatable character, Cassandra. Laura and Cassandra sit down and try to hash out where they are now and where to go next. Cassandra’s got quite a few questions but fortunately enough all of them were already answered by Lucifer, presumably last issue, to Laura who then repeats them.
If that sounds confusing, trust me it is, it’s not anymore clear when you read it. Lucifer, who’s just being repeated by Laura, proceeds to lay on some thick exposition that reads like molasses for about 3 pages. McKelvie’s art feels incredibly uninspired and lazy during this whole scene and then the issue is topped off with a line so cringe worthy I can’t bring myself to quote it.
Gillen’s story shows no signs of a course correction. McKelvies visuals are inconsistent. One moment he’s blowing me away, the next it looks like I’m watching a student film with the same dull framing reused over and over again. I LOVE the creative team, but I just don’t get why this book is so appealing.
Torbin Chimners AKA Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter @Vulgar_Rhombus