Author: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrations), Matt Wilson (Colorist), Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Image Comics
Publish Date: November 12th 2014
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy, Graphic Novel
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.
While I’ve read and enjoyed lots of Manga when I was younger, I never really picked up any graphic novels. I know they’re the big hype in the book community at the moment, but for some reason they don’t really appeal to me all that much.
What I don’t like about most graphic novels, is the art style. I’m not saying they’re all ugly and the people who made them can’t draw, most of the time the drawings are just not my thing though and I don’t want to spend several hundred pages looking at it. I also kinda just prefer reading text rather than looking at pictures, so as I said, not bashing graphic novels or anything, just personal preference.
When graphic novels started becoming popular (mainly on booktube), The Wicked and the Divine was one of the main ones everyone talked about. And I saw the art style and fell in love. It was right up my alley and I thought (and still think) that it was absolutely beautiful, but I still never bought it. Simply because, well, it was a graphic novel, and I didn’t want to spend money on it when I could be spending it on a “normal” novel. However, my best friend recently purchased the first and second volumes, and when she came to stay with me for a weekend, she brought them with her so I could read them.
This was about a year before all the hype around it started, so I have to say I went into it with quite big expectations. They were not disappointed in terms of the illustrations, but the plot was, well, underwhelming. It started out really confusing, and I have to say, it didn’t get much better. Well, it did, but at the same time it didn’t. I read the first two bind-up volumes and I’m still full of questions. This is a story about gods that are reborn as teenage superstars that everyone LOVES AND ADMIRES SO SO SO MUCH.
First of all – why do they get reborn as teenage superstars and why do they have to die after two years? Nobody knows. Secondly – why does everyone love them to death? I don’t really get it either. Most of them are pretty unlikeable, but I guess so are many real life superstars, so it’s probably not even too far from reality… Still strange though, I would have liked some more explanation and world-building. The second volume gives a couple of answers, but let’s just say I’m still very, very confused. And this is a review about Vol. 1 anyway.
As I said, the gods themselves were pretty… special characters. I won’t deny that they were all interesting and they did have fairly unique personalities, but they weren’t all that likeable, which makes the main character’s obsession with them even weirder.
The protagonist is called Laura and she’s a hardcore fangirl. And while I totally understand that, it was still… strange. For some reason (I don’t really understand why) she gets chosen at a concert and from then on she keeps hanging out with the gods. The fact that people get murdered all around her and that the gods are pretty mean and super shady doesn’t seem to bother her – she’s all for it. Okay then. She also says “Uh-huh” and “Nuh-uh” ALL THE DAMN TIME which was so annoying I can’t even put it into words.
The plot, as I mentioned earlier, was pretty week and I found myself fairly bored a lot of the time. And it doesn’t get much better in Vol. 2 either, even though lots of stuff happens, it all seems completely random and out of the blue.
So yeah, the main thing I liked about this graphic novel was the art style, as well as the diverse and unique characters. The plot couldn’t convince me at all and even though the characters were individual, they were still kinda crap… I don’t think I’ll continue reading this series and I’m glad I didn’t buy it myself!