The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artists: Various Contributors
Cover Artist: Jamie McKelvie
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Image Comics
Review by Anelise Farris
I have been reading The Wicked + The Divine since it began. I am also a huge fan of holiday-themed specials. As such, you can imagine my excitement to read The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual #1. As creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie acknowledge in their introduction, The Wicked + The Divine is a series that drops readers right into the action, leaving little room for a close look at all that went on during those first few months of the Recurrence. So, The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual #1 aims to do exactly that.
The issue begins in November 2013 with a brooding Baal, disillusioned with the world, but Inanna arrives provides him with some welcome distraction. A month later, Lucifer and Sakhmet are relishing in a post-premiere, intoxicated tryst. In December, we are also given a story about how Cam (Baphomet) and Umar (Dionysus) unexpectedly meet on their way to London to see The Morrigan. From here, we skip around from October to January to August to May. It’s a lot of back and forth primarily filled with various gods hooking up.
My favorite story in The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual #1 is the one that focuses on Cam and Umar. Cam is hitchhiking, and Umar is there to provide a ride. There is a fantastic energy to the art here, as well as well-written dialogue and an abundance of actually funny puns. Some of the stories give us more insight into the pre-god lives of the characters, but most just present readers with a lot of hook-ups and sexual tension. I found this to be a missed opportunity because the various hook-ups (which happen all throughout The Wicked + The Divine series) did not contribute to the mythology. Similarly, I am not sure why the timeline is ordered the way it is, and I would have preferred a more linear timeline. The art too bounces back and forth, from having a soft energy and muted colors to sharp, crisp lines and bold colors. The former style manages to capture the characters better, but throughout The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual #1 there is consistently smart panel arrangement and unique layouts.
Verdict: Check it out.
If you are a fan of The Wicked + The Divine mythology and want to see more of the gods hooking-up with each other, then you’ll love The Wicked + The Divine Christmas Annual #1. However, if, like me, you were hoping for more insight into the characters—beyond just sexual desires—you’ll be disappointed.