Any review of The Wicked + The Divine (Image Comics, 2014) and its first collected work, entitled The Faust Act, needs to first address the influence of Jack Kirby in comics.
Jack Kirby was a masterful writer and artist responsible for the creation or co-creation of many immediately recognisable comic book properties, primarily for Marvel Comics, including the X-men, the Hulk, Captain America, and many others. In 1970 Kirby moved from Marvel Comics to its longtime rival DC Comics. During his four year stint with DC, Kirby created a pantheon of science fiction gods: cosmic beings representing various archetypes, all viewed through a decidedly 70s hallucinogenic prism. Evidence of this includes an abundance of abstract and psychedelic geometric forms in the art, together with bubbling manifestations of unearthly energy; satanic villains carved from granite with deadly, glowing crimson eyes; and the godlike but decidedly hippie Forever People with names like Mark Moonrider and Beautiful Dreamer. Contemporary flower-power influences define and guide Kirby’s creative output during this period.