Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Wicked + the Divine: Fandemonium

I was seriously considering just writing : READ THIS SERIES, but I suppose I have to tell you why I think you should READ THIS SERIES.

Personally, I liked volume one, The Faust Act, a wee bit more than I liked Fandemonium, but that may be due to a few piddly factors.  I read an arc of the trade of volume one, which means that it's been a while for me and these characters.  Luci(fer) was probably my favorite out of all the wild and out-there gods who showed up in volume one, but now she's not here.  Secondly, there's not as much of a plot in Fandemonium: it's basically the aftermath of volume one, so it's more introspective.


But dang.

So, the premise is that every ninety years, the gods come down and inhabit mortal forms for two years, and they're basically rock stars.  I'm not just talking Zeus or Odin, here.  Gillen pulls from the more obscure reaches of mythology, so the Pantheon--the twelve gods--is really diverse and really odd.  You're going to need Wikipedia to figure out who these gods are.  When the gods are called to Earth, they inhabit a human vessel, which doesn't necessarily have to line up with the gender of the original god or goddess.  For example, Inanna, which is another name for Ishtar, Babylonian goddess of crops and fertility, is in a man's body.  Lucifer took a woman's body.  They're pansexual, pandemonium-causing metahumans.  What do you expect?

In Fandemonium, Laura, a human who was really close to Luci, thought she absorbed some of her powers, but can't do any magic to save her life.  She's distraught and depressed and desperate for vengeance on who framed Luci as a murderer.  She seeks the aid of various gods, knowing full well that they have their own agendas and can't be trusted.

The ending, however, was a complete punch in the face and I'm still reeling.  I'm so, so curious as to where Gillen and McKelvie will go from here.  ULTIMATE CLIFFHANGER.

By its nature, this doesn't have as much banter or levity to it as, say, Young Avengers, but McKelvie's art and Matt Wilson's colors are indescribably gorgeous.  Like I would hang the panels on my wall.  There's a sequence at a rave where "1, 2, 3, 4" sends you into an acid-tripping, god-enabled trance, and the panels become wild and neon as the count moves on.  It's unbelievably awesome.

Completely, totally, and wholeheartedly recommended.  The gods are only here for two years, after all.

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