We’re coming to the end of the first arcs of each of the titles in Vertigo’s Sandman Universe relaunch. Last week it was The Dreaming closing two of its doors only to open an newly birthed insane god of a third. Not to be outdone, Lucifer is also proving that their creative team are most definitely not running out of steam.
This latest chapter adopts the same narrative style as the previous issues, jumping between flashbacks and the current situation, giving us more and more context for just what the hell is happening (pun intended). As the vicious Jack cuts his extremities off we learn how he once tricked Lucy out of ownership of his own hell. Only when his life ended for a second time did he find out that heaven wouldn’t have him, and as Lucifer knew neither would hell so he spent centuries in the void, completely alone save for a lantern of hell fire to light his way. It wasn’t until he found his way out of the void and into the current realm that he was finally able to seek his revenge. But is the devil as alone as he seems to be, or does he have allies in this strange place of buried memories?
This is an immensely satisfying read, not only because of the answers we finally get, but also because it manages to maintain a constant level of tension, keeping us all biting our nails throughout. We find out more of the Fallen Angel’s plot for his son and his one-time lover Caliban’s mother, a scheme which is complicated and cunning in a way that only the Devil himself could come up with.
We also get a glimpse of just where our dark antihero is, as well as John Decker’s role in this utter madness. The writing continues to move along to the crescendo of a haunting Diamond Dogs soundtrack, taking us two steps forward before delighting in showing us just how long the road to our destination still is.
The strength of Dan Watters’ writing is matched only by the intensity of the artwork. I honestly can’t overstate just how fantastic the interpretation of the Fiumara brothers has been. They have almost completely reimagined the character, moving away from having him look similar to his angelic brothers and sisters, and have instead gone the route of an almost romantic Gothic depiction of the Prince of Darkness. He is the epitome of Deniro’s Louis Cypher, Pacino in Devil’s Advocate, and, of course, David Bowie at the peak of his satanic fascination. It’s doubly impressive that they manage to do all this while still somehow maintaining enough of his original charming looks in a world that feels so much more horrifying than anything we’ve seen before.
This latest issue continues the satanic mystery theme, showing us just how far a Fallen Angel will go in order to get what he wants, and is an absolutely essential read.
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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