Every 90 years or so, there is a Recurrence. Twelve gods incarnate themselves as humans and walk the earth. Their host bodies are generally teenagers, who are now endowed with amazing powers and the ability to perform miracles. They are here to inspire, and to push back the Darkness. They will be loved. They will be hated.
And in two years, they will be dead.
“Just because you’re immortal doesn’t mean you get to live forever.”
Which twelve gods reincarnate is subject to change every ninety-year cycle. A host of pantheons from all cultures are represented. Sometimes, female deities incarnate in male bodies and vice versa, which mixed with the fact that they are deities and have an incredibly short lifespan makes for a lot of inner struggle and turmoil.
The story takes place in the 2010s, during the first Recurrence since the invention of smart phones and the internet. Needless to say, social media and the fandom generation have fully embraced the incarnated gods, and worship them much as they worship pop stars and actors in reality. The gods have gigs, much as pop stars do, and tens of thousands of fans flock to these shows to experience the gods’ power. It’s at one of these gigs that we meet Laura, our main character and fangirl extraordinaire. But Laura becomes much more than just a fan to the gods; for more than one of them, she becomes a friend.
There is a plot to the tale, though it’s weird and honestly kind of vague. The main purpose behind the comics (especially this first bind-up) appears to be twofold: to showcase exquisite artwork, and to raise the philosophical question of “is power and fame worth the cost of dying painfully young?” Both of these purposes are accomplished.
However, the story was incredibly hard to follow, and too much happened off screen that we as readers are just expected to access unquestioningly. Someone told me that it was like watching a foreign film with no subtitles, and I think that’s an accurate comparison. While the art is indeed beautiful, and the premise is thought-provoking, I more than likely will not be continuing the series. I read (even graphic novels) for story, and if I’m not getting enough story to understand what the author is attempting to convey, even the loveliest of art can’t prevent the experience from feeling pointless to me. If I do pick up the next volume, it will be in hopes of seeing more amazing artwork, with far lower expectations regarding the story.