Graphic Novel Review – The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of The Wicked + The Divine, which I read in January as part of my bid to read more graphic novels.

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans.
They are loved.
They are hated.
In two years, they are dead.

The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

Story Review
I actually picked this up from a charity shop in brand new condition on the recommendation of a friend who was with me. The voulume starts with two quotes: one from Dr Faustus, and one from… The Vengaboys. That had me sold.

The concept of different gods coming back for brief periods of time and leaving their impact on the world is a really curious one. I often find myself drifting into thoughts of anthropology, and how we would cope with a theoretical ‘coming of God’ these days, and this steps right into those questions and presents with answers. The gods that have come back have gone from being normal teenagers to being hugely powerful, and all of them have handled it in different ways. The common theme is that of power and certainty of their right to be worshiped.

The selection of gods that have come back is really interesting, and we’re introduced to them in various ways, ranging from backstage at a concert to an Underground station. Each location and set up manages to really capture the individual energy, and the volume as a whole shows us more of the deities through the eyes of a mortal who gets sucked up into their world.

It’s a very clever, at moments graphic, volume, that drives home its storyline like a hammer.

Illustrations Review
As mentioned above, there are moments of this being rather graphic, which took me aback to begin with, but this is possibly because I’m still finding my feet when it comes to graphic novels, and getting used to seeing illustrations to compliment what I’m reading. I’m enjoying this adaption, but it is still new ground!

The graphic nature of some images aside, there are some stunningly beautiful moments shown too, particularly the double page spread when one of the characters is talking about their change from normal teenager to one of the Twelve. This development is shown in immense detail that I am in real awe of.

Similarly to Body Works, the artwork is designed in a realistic style, with a dash of fantastical magic, and achieves this brilliantly. There were some images I found myself very much lost in as they were so human, and I enjoyed these as much as I enjoyed the fantasy elements.

Thanks for stopping by today. I’ll absolutely be reading the next volume in this collection, so be sure to keep an eye out for that review somewhere down the line!

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