The Wicked + The Divine: 1923
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Aud Koch
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by Michael Farris, Jr.
In The Wicked + The Divine: 1923, we are transported back in time to previous iterations of the Pantheon that we’ve come to know and…love is a strong word for some of these megalomaniacs, but it’s a great series, so let’s say admire. Lucifer has invited the rest of the gods to his private island to admire the architectural genius (at least, he thinks so) that is his new mansion. What should be a gathering of the gods quickly turns into an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery—sans Poirot—that only gets messier and more sinister the more our divine friends investigate. It’s a proper whodunit that’s the bee’s knees.
I’m a sucker for a good murder mystery, and The Wicked + The Divine: 1923 had all the makings of a good one with the added benefit of taking place in Gillen’s TWTD universe. Additionally, the book’s creative team switches things up by going back-and-forth between standard comic book format and pages of prose, which, interestingly enough, adds more layers of mystery to the story (especially at the end…what or who is it?). There’s a good balance of humor and drama that makes this an enjoyable look into the past. Also, I found every time the Morrigan spoke hilarious. Biggest disappointment: No one said, “Myah, shee?”
The artwork, where there is artwork, was fantastic in the way it has a classic feel that still manages to stay modern. There were times that I was reminded of Tintin in the way that certain smells bring back fond memories. The Wicked + The Divine: 1923 also has a sepia-tone, noir feel where the only thing that really stands out is the color red, similar to Sin City. The prose pages kind of made me feel like I was settling down for a nice evening read in the city of Rapture from the BioShock games.
Verdict: Buy it!
The Wicked + The Divine: 1923 is a great read and a fantastic addition to the series as it gives us a picture of things that have happened prior to the Pantheon we’re familiar with. It also adds more elements that, I believe, will come into play as the story advances. This is definitely a must-add to your Wicked + Divine collection.