Just look at the cover of this comic and tell you aren’t the faintest bit interested in reading it. I mean…where does god come off pointing fingers!? Will we find out in this issue–is it good?
Lucifer #9 (Vertigo)
So what’s it about? The Vertigo summary reads:
Lucifer must join the fight for the throne of Hell! But the balance of power in Heaven is about to take a dark and deadly turn!
Why does this book matter?
This issue takes place in Hell which is a very complicated thing indeed. The queen of Hell recently unbound herself, God isn’t even in Heaven anymore, and Lucifer has his wings back. Things are complicated!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Oh, that’s a nice page.
Holly Black once again shows us a Hell I never want to leave. In the opening page (see above) Lucifer walks amongst shopping stalls selling gangrenous liver and crispy Christians, and there are all sorts of freaks walking about. Truly, artist Lee Garbett has outdone himself with this single image. Each monster is different and freakish in their own way. Plus clowns…truly the devil’s work. As Lucifer walks amongst the revelry he encounters an old friend and generally keeps a low profile–an easy thing to do with so many freaks walking about apparently.
The continuation of the insanity goes further with a check in with Heaven (it’s not looking good folks) and the complications of family get all the more complicated. You have to wonder if Lucifer’s relaxed tone is going to bite him in the ass and in this very issue something literally tries to. Black doesn’t bore us with lengthy diatribes of family and thrusts us into an arena as Takehiko-No-Mikoto prince of two hells takes on the queen of Hell.
That final page though…wow. Lee Garbett leaves the reader with one hell of a haunting full page spread. What we are looking at, and what it means for our characters, is going to make people wish the next issue was here already. Colorist Antonio Fabela handles this page with incredible care, making it truly haunting. The color throughout the book is quite nice, especially the opening pages in the streets of Hell. The red clay tones give it a mucky disturbing feel.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’ve said this before in previous reviews, but the lack of reading this series before this one kicked off hurts the experience from time to time. I have no recollection of who some of these characters are and we aren’t given much headway as to their importance. It’s a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants experience which somewhat hurts your ability to understand the entire purpose.
It’s also unfortunate Lucifer is taking a back seat in this issue for the most part. In some sense we’re getting more of other characters, but mostly this is a table setting issue as Lucifer twiddles his thumbs and waits for the plot to thicken. There is a handy flashback, but something doesn’t click with it and it feels tacked on. Usually a saving grace of this series is telling stories within the story, but it doesn’t quite work.
The doves also cried.
Is It Good?
Another good issue that knocks your socks off in more ways than one. Unfortunately it’s still a table setting sort of issue at heart. Still, you can’t deny its ability to blow your mind.