Review – Lucifer #1 (DC Vertigo)

Publisher: DC Vertigo
Writer: Dan Watters
Artwork: Max Fiumara, Sebastian Fiumara
Colours: Dave McCaig
Letters: Steve Wands
Release Date: 17th October 2018

The amazing return of Vertigo’s Sandman Universe continues this week with the highly anticipated Lucifer, and I’m happy to say it more than lives up to the hype that has been building since it was first announced.

For those of you new to Lucifer, it is not the tale of the fallen angel fighting crime that the (admittedly very enjoyable) TV series wrongfully portrays. No, this is the true vision of the fallen angel mentioned in the bible, pieced together with the various other myths and beliefs throughout history. This is all about the timeless genius who has served his time in hell and who now finds himself enjoying a semi-retirement on earth whilst never losing sight of the brothers, sisters and father who betrayed him.

Neil Gaiman was the one to first breathe life into the character in an early issue of Sandman, only for it to be picked up for its own series shortly afterwards. And what a series it was! Steeped in angelic Christian mythology with an updated gothic noir landscape, it created a patchwork of characters and intertwined stories with Lucifer being the spider at the centre of the Web. And issue one of this new series continues with that theme, telling three different aspects of what will become the same story.

We see Lucifer imprisoned, blinded and half mad in an unknown plane of existence. Is it hell? Heaven? Purgatory? We don’t know, but Lucifer even through insanity knows he must escape. While this is happening we meet Detective John Decker (familiar to fans of the show but far from recognizable), a man holding on to what strength remains for the sake of his cancer-ridden wife Penny. What part does he have to play in the story? Again I haven’t the foggiest, neither do I understand the role of the Shakespearean narrators or any of what is really happening.

However, this is exactly why this is a great comic. Too often do you get bored of the predictable good vs evil storyline played out in every single comic book, with cliff hangers that are resolved and cast aside in a couple of panels in the next issue, or temporary deaths that last six months before another resurrection or reboot. Writer Dan Watters understands that, and true to form, delivers a Lucy who refuses to play by those rules. What keeps the pages turning is not that he is a ‘goodie’ – in fact he’s quite the opposite, being the source of all evil. Instead, Lucifer is a genuinely interesting character the story here is massively in-depth, exploring the many aspects of the simple premise of a devil being bored of his job.

The artwork, from Max and Sebastian Fiumara and with colours courtesy of Dave McCaig, has an amazing attention to detail in so many ways. Whether it’s the caricatures of historical figures, the return of some old faces, the general gothic tone to the mysterious hell scape and our own dark modern LA, every aspect of the visual package has its part to play here. Even the lettering of Steve Wands, much as it did in the old Lucifer, plays a huge part in the story.

And what a great story it is. Taking the character who has always been 10 steps ahead and reducing him to a homeless king, simultaneously giving us the tale of Decker that you instantly feel for and tying it in somehow with the rest of the story with a few panels strategically placed. Who is he? Is it going to be a jab at the TV universe or something infinitely more meaningful?

Once again, much like every new ‘issue one’ of the returning Sandman Universe, I’ve found myself instantly fascinated with this already beautiful work. It makes you feel like a detective, with the first few pieces of a puzzle promising to paint a dark demonic masterpiece. A return to the much-loved franchise for old fans and a great clean slate for newbies to jump on to.  Highest of recommendations.

Rating: 5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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