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The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1: The Faust Act

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust ActWritten by: Kieron Gillen
Illustrated by: Jamie McKelvie
Publisher: Image Comics
Format: Softcover, 176 pages, Full Color, $9.99
ISBN: 978-1-63215-019-6

Phonogram and Young Avengers creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie are back together for a tale of rogue gods, rock stardom, and rabid fan crushes in their new series.

Laura is a typical star-adoring wannabe rock star college student who discovers that her favorite pop star is one of 12 gods who come to Earth every 90 years as mortals, and who live like rock stars for two years, until they die and wait for the next go-round. After a particularly moving performance by pop star/god Amaterasu, a sniper team attempts to take her out, only to be stopped abruptly and permanently by fellow god Luci (a.k.a. Lucifer). Luci finds herself in court for her actions, but the judge is killed in a way that points to Luci. As Luci sits in jail unaided by the other gods, Laura decides to get to the truth – but the deeper she looks, the deeper the mystery gets.

The talents of Gillen and McKelvie shine in this series, which plays on their strengths individually and as a creative team. Gillen's script is full of natural hipness, with characters who feel fleshed out from the beginning and a mystery that refuses to reveal itself early but never lets the reader’s interest go. His interpretations of the gods are inspired, from the brilliant light show of Amaterasu to the triple-form of The Morrigan, and even a passing reference to there being more than one Baal.

McKelvie's art is in top form here, making a page of people conversing as visually pleasing as Amatersu's stage show, or a two page spread of the gods in council. His clean lines offer a deceptive simplicity to the images, giving them a real-world feel that only enhances their divinity. And his mastery of facial expressions gives the book much of its visual power.

The Wicked + The Divine is suggested for Adult (18+) readers who enjoy modern interpretations of myths and gods as well as fans of Gillen and McKelvie's previous works.