Lucifer #5 delves into the life of stingy Jack and his history with Lucifer. In doing so you understand the motivations of Jack and how exemption from one fate does not automatically ensure another. This monologue, explaining many of the whys and hows of Jack, takes up much of the first half of the issue. Dan Watters takes the old adage “a good villain is the hero of his own story” and we see Jack as a man seeking vengeance for the suffering that came from dealing with Lucifer.
The rest of the issue deals with the threads that link the likes of John Decker, Sycorax, Lucifer and Caliban. These elements all get closer and closer to finally merging the story of the world on the inside with the story of the outside. We understand a little bit more about why Decker is linked with this. We don’t get a lot of Decker in this issue, and most of the time we spend with Lucifer is in flashbacks. In some ways this feels like a step back from issue #4, a slower issue due to the need to explain Jack’s motivations and how things fit together. This issue feels like a setup for issue #6 and the end of the story arc.
As with the previous issues, Max and Sebastian Fiumara are on top form. Their work on the more mundane aspects are good, but in this issue they excel with the fantastical and the otherworldly. Elements such as Jack’s familiars, the manifestation of Sycorax’s voice and the scenes between Lucifer and Caliban show why they are such a good fit for this book.
Speaking of good fits, Dave McCaig’s work just makes everything sing. The contrast of the blues and grays against the strong, dull reds is great and the color palettes continue to make it so easy to follow the different story threads. In particular, the last panel of Jack’s first section is fantastic and the colors are a large part of that.
Lucifer #5 is the combination of multiple plot lines coming together with a look into Jack’s past. This is an intriguing mix of Watters’ portrayal of Lucifer’s devious side and Jack’s desire for revenge, a compelling setup for the end of the arc but as an issue this lacks the impact and flashiness of Lucifer #4. In many ways this issue is like Jack’s initial act of trickery, a piece of brilliance that is overshadowed — although in this case the shadow is cast by what came before.