Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: A Deity Field Guide to The Wicked + The Divine Part 3

Greetings, Fantheon, it has been far too long since last we reconvened. Welcome to the third installment of The Wicked + The Divine Deity Field Guide, detailing brief profiles on the series’ deities and their cultural/historical roots. Though we still know virtually nothing about the elusive final goddess Tara, far too many divine goodies have been revealed to put off this installment any further. In that spirit, let’s dive right into the holy mess that we encountered in the last six issues. Please be mindful that the bio for Persephone contains a major spoiler for #11.

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Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1 Exceeds Expectations

angela-asgards-assasin-hansFull disclosure: when Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1 debuted a few weeks ago, I didn’t pick it up. I was familiar with the character because I’d read a bit of her adventures in the Guardians of the Galaxy comic; however, while I liked her, I wasn’t so in love that I wanted to know more. I’m not one to turn my nose up at a free comic, though, so when one of my coworkers offered me his copy, I was happy to accept it—and to my surprise, it exceeded my expectations.

Spoilers for the issue below the jump.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: A Deity Field Guide to The Wicked + The Divine Part 2

Hello again, believers and nonbelievers, and welcome to Part 2 of my The Wicked + The Divine Deity Field Guide. Like last time, we will be investigating the history and lore associated with some of the gods represented in the series. Because the series is ongoing and we learn more about each character with every issue, I’d like to make a few remarks and corrections about Part 1 of the guide before we delve into new territory. When I wrote Part 1 of the field guide, information about the god Baal was still being deliberately withheld by the writer. This was important to the narrative, as he was a suspect in a murder and tension was building, but it made my job much more difficult. I assumed, therefore, that “Baal” was Baal-hamon, a fire god whose followers reportedly burned their children alive. In The Wicked + The Divine #4, however, it is revealed that he is actually Baal Hadad (more commonly just called “Hadad”), a god of storms and lightning. Considering that the in-universe theologian drew the same initial conclusion that I did, however, I don’t feel too bad about my deductive powers.

The Morrigan, likewise, was a mysterious character, because the reader was initially led to believe that she was dead. This was actually a trick played by Baphomet, which is in keeping with my assumptions about him being a slightly ridiculous sort of “poser” god, without the same gravitas as most of his divine counterparts. The Morrigan is very much alive, and reflecting the triple nature I mentioned briefly, is actually three entirely separate people depending on her mood.

Now that some of last month’s baggage is picked up, I am pleased to present Part 2 of the deity field guide: arranged, researched and extensively guessworked by yours truly. Continue reading

Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: A Deity Field Guide to The Wicked + The Divine

Last month Image Comics released a new title by the famous writer-artist team Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, best known for PHONOGRAM and Young Avengers. Their latest project, The Wicked + The Divine, tells the story of twelve gods who appear on earth in human form every ninety years, inspire the masses, and then die within just two years. In the 21st century “recurrence” these deities live out their time on earth as the most worshipped of all figures: pop idols.

The gods who appear in The Wicked + The Divine represent a wide range of different theistic traditions and mythology, some of which are familiar to the casual reader and some of which are more than a bit more obscure. In honor of the release of issue #2, I’ve created this brief field guide to six of the twelve gods of the pantheon. As the other six appear in the story I’ll update with a part two. Continue reading

Young Avengers, We Barely Knew Ye…

Some of the saddest comics-related news I heard at the end of last year was that Marvel’s most recent Young Avengers run was going to be coming to an end with issue #15. Well, I finally got my hands on the final issue of the run, and, while the story definitely got a satisfying conclusion, it’s still sad to see it go.

I can’t speak to how different Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s take on the Young Avengers was from the original Young Avengers series by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung, as I haven’t read the original. What I did know about this series when it came out was that 1) it was set a few years after the original series, and 2) it was going to be a very diverse group of young adult-age superheroes doing awesome superhero things, and that was really all the hook I needed.

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