The creative team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie first made their mark with the 2006 Image Comics release Phonogram: Rue Britannia, a thrilling and thoughtful story about magic, music, modern sorcery, and how the records we listen to affect our lives and identities. The series combined cultural touchstones and urban fantasy trappings in a way that captured the imagination of critics and readers, and its success ultimately led to Gillen and McKelvie becoming separately and together some of comics' most fan-favorite creators on books like Journey Into Mystery, X-Men Season One, Suburban Glamour, a second series of Phonogram, and their rmuch-lauded collaboration on the recently concluded reinvention of Young Avengers.
This week, they're releasing the debut issue of their latest (and most ambitious) project: The Wicked + The Divine, an ongoing series from Image that blends together many of their favorite subjects: youthful reinvention, manifest deities, supernatural superpowers, and, of course, the transformative power of pop music. The first issue is both intriguing and exhilarating, depicting the adventure of a superfan as she rubs elbows with ancient gods who return every ninety years, this time in the form of gorgeous young people who become 21st century celebrities. At once sublimely understated and action-packed, the first issue grabs you instantly and leaves you anxious to read more.
ComicsAlliance connected with the entire W+D creative team of Gillen and McKelvie; designer Hannah Donovan; letterer Clayton Cowles; and colo(u)rist Matt Wilson for an in-depth conversation about the story they're telling, their collaborative process, and the artistic and cultural inspirations for the series. Along the way, we're revealing some previously unseen behind-the-scenes materials and an exclusive previews of The Wicked + The Divine #2.
We at ComicsAlliance have never been shy about our love for Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's excellent indie Phonogram. We named The Singles Club the fifth-best comic of 2010, broke the story about Phonogram's end, and wondered hopefully at the teasing implications of a return. When The Immaterial Girl was announced in 2012, we celebrated, and when we heard it was pushed back to 2013, we were a little crestfallen. But when it was announced that Gillen and McKelvie would be the creative team on the relaunch of Young Avengers, we figured we could probably wait a little longer. We were right. Five issues in, the creative team has made Young Avengers one of the most exciting and experimental books on the stands, and one of the few comics about youth that actually captures the energy and potential of it.
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