It’s that time of year when holiday specials are cropping up and that includes Lucifer. Split up into two stories, this issue offers a tale written by previous writer Holly Black and future writer of the series Richard Kadrey. It’s a handoff between writers, but is it good?
Lucifer #13 (Vertigo)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
It’s a LUCIFER holiday special! Forget coal—this nice ’n‘ naughty issue is your reward for a year of indulgent misdeeds with the devil. Writers Holly Black and Richard Kadrey team up to deliver a darkly festive and irreverent ode to the joy of seasonal sin and twisted Secret Santas. We’re keeping this one under wraps, but rest assured it’s Krampus-approved.
Why does this book matter?
If you’re unfamiliar with Richard Kadrey, he’s best known for his Sandman Slim novel series about a reluctant hero who has close ties to Hell (We reviewed it ages ago and loved it). He’s the perfect writer for a series like this and I for one am very interested to see what he can do. Add in Ben Templesmith on art for his story and that’s a perfect combo!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The first story is written by Holly Black with art by Marco Rudy in a painted style about the “Krampulslauf,” AKA the running of the Krampuses. The art is jaw-droppingly good with some vivid double page layouts utilizing a creepy spider. In between its wavy arms Rudy has placed panels, telling a tragic story of death and theft. Black captures the true nature of the holiday and it’s quite unique.
The second story is a bunch of fun, with Lucifer getting roped into a secret Santa gig at his bar. Kadrey writes this one, intercutting between Lucifer who is in a bit of a malaise and two demons who are building something diabolical. The pace is strong and the general mood works well considering the holiday cheer you see in these type of stories. Templesmith’s art is a fine example of his moody and atmospheric look complete with creepy demons (with a cool S&M wardrobe) and his customary watercolor grime. Together Kadrey and Templesmith close out this special with a moody and perfectly Lucifer-cheer to the tale.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The opening story doesn’t quite cut it with a narrative that’s tricky to understand. It might be due to the dreamlike nature of the art, or the nature of why the friends go at each other. There isn’t enough information to understand what is happening which reduces the effect of the story.
Not a good idea guys.
Is It Good?
Lucifer #13 is a beautifully dark and twisted holiday special. The first story captures the disgusting nature of an anti-Christmas holiday and the second shows us a moment where even Lucifer can enjoy the gift giving season.