Review: The Wicked and the Divine Volume 1: The Faust Act
Twelve gods come upon the earth incarnated as humans. They work miracles and inspire people to do great and terrible things. They live for only two years, then die, to be reborn every ninety years.
Volume 1, The Faust Act is the story of Laura, a teenage god groupie who becomes a disciple of Luci (Lucifer). When Luci is imprisoned for a murder she didn't commit (as well as a couple she did), Laura sets out to find out which of the gods is actually responsible. She enlists the aid of Cassandra, a journalist and expert in the phenomenon of "The Recurrance" (the cycle of the pantheon's death and rebirth). It's a murder mystery with a magical realist twist.
Ten of the gods of the pantheon have been revealed, but the only one whose backstory we get to see at this point is Luci's. Luci (pictured on the cover) has an androgynous look reminiscent of David Bowie and a mischievous sense of humour to go with it. She gets some of the best lines ("Hey, you guessed my name"). The other gods include Sakhmet, a grown woman who behaves like a cat, and the Morrigan, the death goddess whose followers break into Underground stations at night for a chance to see her.
There is some violence in this series, including lots of exploding heads, but it is more cartoonish than horrifying. The art is gorgeous, especially in the scenes in the Underground.
Winner of the Best Comic at the 2014 British Comic Awards, The Wicked and The Divine has an intriguing story that will keep you guessing. It will probably appeal to fans of Sandman. It's witty, beautiful to look at and I can't wait for the next issue, which, fortunately is already out.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆