So far Lucifer has proven to be a great joy to read and my favorite series of the year. Issue #4 is here; is it good?
Lucier #4 (DC Comics)
Lucifer and Gabriel are on their way to find out who killed God. In the meantime they must travel through every realm including The Dreaming to track down the culprits. Meanwhile, a jar of demons (or is it one demon?) is trading hands on Earth and whoever holds the thing becomes a homicidal killer. It recently got into the possession of a Haitian girl whose step parents hate her. That’s not a good combo.
Why does this book matter?
Writer Holly Black has been deftly cutting between these stories providing an experience that’s never boring and always compelling. The story has been tethered to heaven and Earth (literally) and it’s fascinating to see both a reality with a bit of magic and a reality made of magic itself.
The Dreaming looks a bit like Wonderland.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Anyone wondering if the demon in the bottle is going somewhere should strap in and expect some major developments. Medjine is a sad young girl, but clearly has enough strength to prevent the demon from corrupting her like it did in previous issues with other characters. Her home life continues to get worse though, and Black finally sets her off to better things. We think. The cliffhanger of this story is a doozy for her, the bottle and Lucifer and I cannot wait for the next issue.
Meanwhile Lucifer’s story moves on into the the Dreaming and more specifically the Japanese underworld. Before he gets there, he must walk among some wild images as dream logic hovers around him. Black sets up a scene where he faces a nightmare version of himself which is fascinating particularly because he reflects on how silly it is. The story carries on from there and introduces an interesting idea about angel wings and eventually an inventive way to use dreams as breadcrumbs to the culprit.
The art by Lee Garbett continues to be fantastic as well–pages never go over six panels or so, and yet they always have a solid pace. It never feels slow, in part because characters’ emotions are easy to read. The visceral world of The Dreaming is quite nice too although it doesn’t last as long as one might hope! There’s a beautiful full page spread in this issue that showcases a sunset that helps imbue the beauty of angels (I won’t spoil who) and a half-page image that perfectly ends the issue. It’s not only haunting and weird, but embodies the dread and doom that await us next issue.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s getting a little annoying that the clues and details concerning the person or thing that killed God aren’t being shared. So far Gabriel has caught on that Lucifer knows more than he has said, but come on, give us something! While it’s fun to see Lucifer and Gabriel track down information and find clever ways of extracting clues, the reader is left in the dark as to what they are actually discovering. That makes the detective element fall rather flat.
This is not good.
Is It Good?
Once again another fantastic issue in what is a fantastic story arc. If this isn’t your favorite series yet you haven’t been reading it.