The Wicked And The Divine
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If you've been a PanelBeats reader for any length of time, you'll be aware that for one reason and another, we haven't had an incredibly busy year in terms of writing about comics. But we've still been reading them, and so with the end of the year upon us, it seems a good time to check in and let you know what we've enjoyed in 2015, in case you've missed any of it yourself. Look, it's an end-of-year post: you know how these things work.
Rather than doing a ranked countdown based on any kind of consensus, we've instead individually written about which books stood out for us this year. As ever, our tastes and consumption habits can vary hugely (although there is some crossover); and of course, we're aware that we don't necessarily cover the full spectrum of everything that was published across the industry in 2015. Nevertheless, if we've mentioned it below, then as far as this site's concerned, it was a highlight of our year - and is well worth checking out if you haven't already.
So, then, to The Wicked + The Divine
. Unquestionably one of the major success stories of comics in 2014... and something that, if we're honest, it's difficult for us to talk about in any kind of objective or rational way, because it's by our mates.
Warning: Do not read this until you've read The Wicked and The Divine #4. Or, for that matter, issues #1-3. But mostly #4.
Earlier this year I said that I couldn't write about Young Avengers
because it was too personal, too close to me, that it would be too much like exposing myself. The Wicked + The Divine
is also too personal, but that's exactly why I need to write about it.
Are Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie in their imperial phase
yet? It's debatable - the answer is probably "not quite yet", but either way, they've chosen to create a comic about a group of people who are very firmly in one. And by the time it's finished its first year, there's every reasonable chance its creators could be in their own.
It's only when I sit down to transcribe this interview with Young Avengers
, Journey into Mystery
scribe Kieron Gillen that I discover that my computer has inexplicably decided only to record his half of the conversation. Obviously, it's a good job it happened that way around and not the other - but it's also a good job it happened with someone like Kieron, who is perfectly capable of giving a lengthy, verbose and compelling interview with very little prompting. As it happens, my voice begins to reappear around ten minutes or so in anyway - but had I needed to, I suspect I could have inferred every one of my questions, or flat out made several up, purely from his essay-length responses.
I'm talking to Kieron - or, rather, he's talking to me - because he's got a new comic on the way: The Wicked + The Divine
, his latest co-conspiracy with Phonogram
artist Jamie McKelvie and their regular colourist Matt Wilson. A creator-owned ongoing at Image, it launches in the middle of June, and it's very likely that it'll be one of the most talked-about comics of the year. Maybe even by people who aren't Kieron.