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The Wicked + The Divine: a comic book love letter to music, fame, and mythology

The Wicked + The Divine imagines ancient gods and goddesses as pop stars

The Wicked + The Divine (Image)
The Wicked + The Divine
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

WicDiv was my favorite comic of 2014, and one of my favorites in 2015. It’s chic and brimming with swagger.

The story — 12 gods are reincarnated every 90 or so years and only allowed to live for two, so they make the most of their limited time by taking the form of pop stars — began as riveting murder mystery. Someone may or may not have framed Lucifer, and the hunt for the truth becomes the first arc.

But since the title’s early meteoric rise, things have settled down a bit, allowing creators Jamie McKelvie (the artist) and Kieron Gillen (the writer) to have fun and be more ambitious than they were in the first arc. There’s more experimental storytelling, more gambles with the book’s characters, plus moments that explore issues like the role of social media in our lives.

The comic’s standout issue to date is No. 14, a dark dive into the psyche of the misogynistic Woden, a Norse god who’s taken the form of one half of Daft Punk. It splices together art from every other issue of WicDiv and sets that art under the patina of digital technology — exactly as a misogynistic DJ god might do.

Over the past year, this book has unfurled its wings and unveiled something bigger, badder, and grander than it first appeared to be. When it launched, it was clear WicDiv could be the hippest comic book in the land. What I didn’t realize at the time was how good it would become at everything else.