This team is firing on all cylinders -- the story is fascinating, the characters are extraordinarily human (even those that are more than human), and it's meticulously designed. Visually striking covers lead to equally mesmerizing interiors -- look for Luci's transformation sequence -- and every panel of this book feels like it's sitting atop a deep layer of backstory.
Luci is a fascinating devil, working the compelling I-was-framed angle but never fully landing on the "good" side of things. Even as she languishes in prison, she straddles the line between likeable and treacherous, and while she's convincing enough for Laura, it's entirely likely that she's going to be that girl's doom.
And, as much as Laura's reluctant ally derides Wikipedia, there's something about this book that invites us to jump down a mythology rabbithole and do the same sort of research that our proxy has been doing. It's a puzzle; taking archetypes and trying to reverse-engineer these poppy, bright interpretations of them until we find extra nuances about these characters that the creators have snuck in like secret tracks. And -- probably intentionally -- THE WICKED + THE DIVINE invites a more serious examination of pop culture and what makes us show up to (or skip) a party, a phenomenon, Hell.
Count this as a so-good-it's-bad: the anti-hype over Tara -- or, f***ing Tara, as she's referred to in-text -- is done so well (persistent but not over-the-top; pointed, yet mysterious) that I'm finding myself not wanting to meet this character.
One of the highest marks of praise that I can give to a series is that I dread the extra week between issues when it's a five-week month. But I don't want to wait until August 20th for the next installment of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE; I want to consume it instantly, and the next issue right after. There are twelve gods to learn about/adore/hate, and a multitude more opinions to form -- and then change, because isn't that what pop culture is about?