Hitting the shop several days after New Comic Book Day means there are spoilers ahead for…
The Wicked + The Divine: The Funnies #1
Cover: Jamie McKelvie
Variant Cover: Margaux Saltel
“We also asked Chip.”
If things had gone according to plan, you’d most likely be reading about The Green Lantern #1 by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp, which I had planned to pick up even though I don’t normally read any GL titles, because, well, it’s by Morrison and Sharp.
Things didn’t go as planned, however, as I didn’t get to the shop until yesterday, by which time they were completely sold out.
Which doesn’t suggest that this WicDiv special is an inferior second choice, it’s just not what I anticipated choosing.
With the final arc of the series coming up and a little bit of space to fill, the creative team decided to release a one-shot special, and as the previous specials had filled in all of the relevant history, they opted to go with something fun, and that would make fun of them.
And so, as is explained in an opening foreword, they asked some of their talented friends – and Chip Zdarsky – to contribute some lighthearted tales.
Most of the very short stories are written in a very knowing fashion that toys with the actual story told so far in the regular series while also gently – or not-so gently – ribbing the creators behind theseries. The Pantheon in “13 Go Mad in Wiltshire,” by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris, which places the young gods in something of a Scooby Doo milieu, is especially adept at combining the conceit of the parody with the details of the story its parodying. It also features the young gods travelling in a tour vehicle styled after The Mystery Machine known as “The Vantheon.”
If you’re not a WicDiv reader, most of the in-jokes won’t mean much to you, though in fairness it seems as though there are a lot of in-jokes that only the people involved would understand, so I’m not going to dive in and talk through each one, but there are some highlights that even those unfamiliar with the book can appreciate.
In particular, the opening story, “The Wicked + The Canine,” by Kieron Gillen and Erica Henderson will appeal to dog lovers, while also providing a mounting sense of horror as the story unfolds. As with the regular book, Ananke is there to tell us – although not in an entirely honest fashion – what’s going on.
With their time on Earth at an end, Ananke ensures the good dogs that they will go to “Doggy Heaven,” which is on the other side of a river, and to get there, they have to all climb into a big sack. And they each have to hold a brick. You know, for momentum.
But hey, don’t get too worried. After all…
I especially liked the Buzzfeed listicle-style “5 Things Everyone Who’s Lived With Sakhmet Will Understand,” by Hamish Steele.
Chip went a bit meta with his story, “The Lost God,” which finds a pair of failed musicians in Pittsburgh viewing the news of the return of the gods, with one of the members realizing that he’s part of the Pantheon. Before this unlikely god can make his way to London to join up with the others, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie – presented here as something of a soccer hooligan – show up to deliver the bad news. This other god isn’t quite on-brand, and doesn’t match the stylistic preferences of Kieron, who fancies himself something of a tastemaker and trendsetter. Kieron delivers the requisite finger snap, though it doesn’t quite have the traditional explosive effect. Still, as a signal to Jamie to beat the piss out of the man, it’s reasonably effective, although it does leave one loose end.
I’ve grown fairly tired of origin stories lately, especially when they’re origin stories for mundane things – one of the worst offenders in recent memory was on season two of Jessica Jones in which we got “The Secret Origin of How Jessica Got Her Leather Jacket” – but the origin story that closes out this issue is an important one that had to be told.
We find pre-godhood Laura (Persephone) standing on a street corner getting increasingly annoyed as she looks at Kieron Gillen’s Twitter feed, filled with his truly awful puns, and we see the inevitable result.
Like I said, this isn’t a comic for everyone, but it’s a lot of fun if you’re a WicDiv fan, which I haven’t spoiled for you here.
There are stories by a bunch of very talented people.
There’s also a story by Chip.
If you’re a fan of WicDiv, check it out. If you’re not a fan of WicDiv, rectify that, then check this out.
And? Did You Buy Anything Else?
I did. Here’s the list.
Adventures of the Super Sons #4
Asgardians of the Galaxy #3
The Dreaming #3
I mean, it should be pretty obvious…