A while ago I picked up a new series from the library called the Wicked + the Divine and really enjoyed it. It's a series that follows the Pantheon, a group of people who have come to embody certain mythological figures.
The first volume centered around Lucifer (Luci) and her arrest and subsequent death and the conspiracy that surrounds those events. See full review here: Review.
The second volume continues to follow superfan Laura and her continued investigation into Luci's framing and murder.
From the first I was kind of mad that Lucifer, my favorite character from the moment she stepped into the panels, was taken out of the narrative. (And judging from the Cosplay picture featured in the back of this book I'm hardly the only one to favor her). However, despite the complete lack of Lucifer in this volume, I was still hooked from beginning to end. And just like the first volume, the ending left me grasping for another chapter. What a cliffhanger!
Along with Rat Queens this has become one of my current favorite series. Which is a relatively new thing for me. In the past most of the series that were on my watch list were manga, Bakuman and Mushishi were both ones that I couldn't wait to read, but I've never been huge on western comics. Now I find myself wondering if I shouldn't just get these things issue by issue so I wouldn't have to wait so long to find out what comes next.
Since, now I'm stuck waiting for the next volume of Wicked + Divine to come out, I figured I'd check out another comic by Gillen.
Phonogram vol. one Rue Britannia is about this guy, who is kind of a jerk. He is a phonomancer, he gets magical energy from music and music is his magic. Listening to the right record at the right time, going to gigs, that's his life. Or it was. His patron, the person who brought out his abilities is dying and with her passing, he will die as well. Well, he won't die, but he will cease to be a phonomancer, he will cease to be the memories he's made and the person he's become as her patron.
The story frequently references Britpop bands (and others) and it might be a bit daunting to those who have no idea what went on in the London scene in the 1990's, but the story is still a compelling one and even if some of the musical references don't bring back memories of shows or illegal torrent downloads, the atmosphere is still palpable.
The artist and writer did a great job with evoking young people and their obsessions with bands and what that obsession could become in the right environment. In many ways I could easily see how this could be a precursor to some of the ideas in Wicked + Divine. I do like the Wicked + Divine more, I find Laura to be a much more likeable and relateable character than David Kohl, who more often irritated me than gained my sympathy.
I also think the magic was better represented in Wicked + Divine than in Phonogram, but still it's definitely an interesting first volume and I'll probably grab the next before too long.
Both of these series would fit into the Urban Fantasy genre easily. Fans of War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, especially would like these as they involve rock music and pop culture as well as magic.