The Wicked + The Divine

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Title The Wicked + The Divine
Author(s) Kieron Gillen
Artist(s) Jamie McKelvie
Published 2014
Publisher Image Comics
Purchase Available on Amazon

The Wicked + The Divine is a comic series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie about the Pantheon, a group of reincarnated deities. It is published by Image Comics.

LGBT Representation

May contain spoilers

Where to begin? Gillen and McKelvie also collaborated on the extremely LGBT-friendly Young Avengers series for Marvel Comics, in which nearly every member of the main cast was LGBT+. The Wicked + The Divine also features a high level of LGBT representation.

For example:

  • Lucifer is reincarnated as a girl who goes by Luci.
  • Inanna, an ancient Sumerian goddess, is reincarnated as a genderqueer South Asian man.
  • Sakhmet, an Ancient Egyptian goddess, is sexually promiscuous and indiscriminate with regards to sex or gender identity.
  • Baal, the Canaanite sky god, slept with both Inanna and Lucifer.
  • Cassandra, a blogger who covers the Pantheon, is a Japanese-British transgender woman.

Many other characters are also of ambiguous sexuality or gender identity, as Cassandra is the only character who has verbally labelled herself. Gillen has written and talked extensively about the portrayal of gender and sexuality in the series, and in response to one of many questions about Laura's sexuality, he wrote:

The main problem with not naming labels in mainstream books is that they can get annihilated by the next writer. There is no next writer here. There is just us, as such, I can present people and explore them as more complicated entities.

This is a book where a character may mislabel themselves, at least according to the current dominant theories. It’s a book where a character may learn they prefer one label to another as they progress. It’s a book where a character may take on a label, before realising that their initial label was more right than wrong. It’s the sort of book where a character may identify as straight even if they fuck people of the same gender. This is about people rather than moral lessons. This is a book about discovery and fucking up and flux.

Most of all, me writing it doesn’t imply an endorsement or agreement. I am not trying to educate anyone here. I’m assuming the reader’s ability to wrestle with this big serious stuff without me. This is a book designed as a gateway, not a terminus.

So to answer your question, no, I’m not giving a Word Of God answer to Laura’s sexuality, and you’re on your own until the characters choose to tell you one way or another, and even then, be aware that they may not know either. Put it like this: I’m 39 years old and even now I’m not sure about my own labels, y'know? I have to give the characters the space to find themselves.[1]

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