BooksOfTheMoon

Lucifer, Vol. 11: Evensong

By Mike Carey

Rating: 5 stars

God is dead has left! Long live Elaine! This epilogue volume ties up most of the loose ends of Lucifer’s story as well as those of the people who have crossed the Lightbringer’s path. Lucifer must cross the path of Izanami of the afterlife one more time to retrieve a portion of the letter of passage given to him way back in volume 1 that she took from him. His parting with Mazikeen is bittersweet, and she, once again, proves her worth in that meeting. In a series with so many outstanding characters (and outstanding female characters), she’s one of the brightest burning.

Elaine, the new God of the three merged creations, has some tidying up of her own to deal with. For the first, she sends Gaudium and Spera in their own little adventure, meeting with an old enemy, and the cutest Cerberus rendered in ink. For the second, she gathers some of her companions for one final girly night on the town before she leaves to become part of everything. This is an oddly moving story and one that I really enjoyed.

The not-quite-final part of the volume shows us Lucifer’s final encounter with his father once he passes out of Creation into the void. He is made a rather amazing offer and reacts in typical Lucifer style. A fabulous finale to an epic story.

Which makes the actual final segment (“Nirvana”) all the odder. This is an odd coda, telling a story set somewhere in the middle of the arc, chronologically. The painted art is amazing, but the story just seems really odd, and a weird way to end the story.

Looking over the series as a whole, I very much enjoyed it, but both my science-fictional and atheist senses were tingling. For the latter, I have the same issue with predestination as Lucifer and the whole literal Bible (Creation was just 6000 years ago etc) interpretation in places annoyed me. And for the former, why is it so anthropocentric? Surely there’s more to “Creation” than one little planet? There’s a whole universe out there, why does everything of import happen on Earth? But these are minor niggles in an otherwise marvellously epic story.

Book details

ISBN: 9781401212001
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 2007

Lucifer, Vol. 10: Morningstar

By Mike Carey

Rating: 5 stars

This is the volume where Lucifer’s story reaches its climax. Lilith leads her children in a bitter war against Heaven which, without God, can no longer stand against them. Lucifer finds himself fighting at the gate of the Silver City once again, this time on the side of the Angels. Noema, the daughter of the Basanos’ is born and immediately comes into conflict with Lucifer before taking him and Elaine to see the new state of affairs in Hell and possibly to get Rudd’s help in the war.

There’s also a comic interlude in the middle with Gaudium and Spera, the fallen Cherubim. This shouldn’t work in the middle of such a big story, but it really does. It both breaks and holds the tension, letting you wind down a bit between large-scale stories. From his early appearance as (not very good) guardian to Elaine, I’ve really enjoyed wise-cracking Gaudium and his smarter sister.

This is a suitably epic conclusion for such a large-scale story, and the art doesn’t let it down. It finishes with Lilith and Elaine stepping outside Creation to argue for its preservation or destruction in front of God himself. And even without being there, Lucifer has to stick his oar into things and his influence is felt.

Oh, and this book also confirms what I always knew: God is an English gentleman :).

Book details

ISBN: 9781401210069
Publisher: DC Comics
Year of publication: 2006

Lucifer, Vol. 9: Crux

By Mike Carey

Rating: 4 stars

This book starts with the unexpected sight of a demon offering a drink of water to one of the damned, much to the horror of its peers. Hauled up before Remiel, ruler of Hell, it seems that there is a new creed being preached and Christopher Rudd, once one of the damned liberated to be the plaything for a Lady is the preacher. This story is short (if ending on one heck of a punchline), and I liked the story a lot, but I really didn’t like the art. It felt far too cartoony and didn’t seem to suit the tale at all.

The core of the book, though, is taken up with Lilith and her preparations for war against Heaven, taking the head of her army of children, the Lilim, they prepare to assault the Silver City. This story also shows how Elaine gets on having being given the creative power by her dying father, Michael and I enjoyed her attempts to get to grips with this power by creating her own Creation.

We end the volume returning to Jill Presto and her trying to come to terms with the fact that she still caries a child of the Basanos. This is a very interesting story, as it’s about a woman who has no desire to be a mother, especially not to this sort of child.

Lilith’s conversations with Mazikeen and Mazikeen’s actions are one of the highlights of this book, showing just how far that Mazikeen has come from the start. From simply being Lucifer’s consort she is now a keen warrior and major player in her own right.

Book details

ISBN: 9781401210052
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 2006

Lucifer, Vol. 8: The Wolf Beneath the Tree

By Mike Carey

Rating: 4 stars

It’s the end of the world and I feel fine. With God gone and his Name no longer holding everything together, the wolf Fenris emerges to destroy Yggdrasil while Michael journeys to take advice from Destiny of the Endless.

The first part of this book tells the story of Lilith, Adam’s first consort, and her liaisons with both Michael and Lucifer before the Fall as well as her part in it. This is an interesting story in fleshing out a character who has previously only existed as mother to the Lilim. It also features a young Mazikeen (in her only appearance in this book, much to its detriment) who’s just as awesome as she would grow up to be.

The second part is an oddity, and one that didn’t really work for me. Neutral ground is found for a conclave of demons, deciding what to do now that God is gone. The organiser, bored with the whole affair, goes to have some fun with their “host”. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what happened here. Did Lucifer trap the conclave? Or was it all just a diversion?

The final part brings us to Fenris and Yggdrasil and the ultimate trick played on Lucifer – for once not in control of the situation. Fenris is a manipulator worthy of the Lightbringer himself, and his use of the human madman to achieve his ends is creepy and totally fitting for this mythos. I’m not too sure about the final pages though, which seem to introduce yet another element into this already bulging story. I’ll just have to read the next volume to find out more.

Book details

ISBN: 9781401205027
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 2005

Lucifer, Vol. 7: Exodus

By Mike Carey

Rating: 4 stars

God has left his creation, possibly forever. Two Titans spot that there is a vacuum at the heart of Creation and attempt to usurp his power for themselves. Lucifer and his brother Michael must combine their forces and join with that of the Host of the Silver City to try and defeat them. Later, for reasons not yet explained, Lucifer decides to purge all immortal beings from his own Creation, and dispatches the Elaine Belloc of the Sisters of Mercy to ensure that it is done. This second part of the book tells the story of some of the encounters that Elaine and her team have while carrying out the Maker’s commands.

This is very much a book of two halves. The first is epic on a grand scale, with the fate of Creation at stake, while the second is much more personal and, for me, the better half of the book. That is narrated by one of the immortal creatures to be evicted and his story, along with that of the Human boy that be befriends, is poignant and moving. And the cliffhanger at the end of the book is certainly one that I wasn’t expecting.

After a slow start, the Lucifer books have become fast-paced and gripping with a deep internal mythology that draws not only on the Judeo-Christian tradition, but that of other cultures as well. They make for great reading.

Book details

ISBN: 9781401204914
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 2005

Lucifer, Vol. 6: Mansions of the Silence

By Mike Carey

Rating: 4 stars

The sixth volume of Lucifer’s story sees him commissioning a vessel to sail to the Mansions of the Silence, with a hand-picked crew to retrieve the soul of Elaine Belloc, the girl who, unwittingly, gave up her life to retrieve him from the unlife where he was trapped. That story is interwoven with those of the crew, including the half-angel Cal, Jill Presto, unwilling mother-to-be of the child of sentient tarot deck, the Basanos, a giant, a ghost and two fallen Cherubim.

At least as interesting as that story is the one going on in parallel with Lucifer’s discussions with his brother Michael and their view of the mind of God, along with the consequences of that. It’s a compelling story and one that had me turning the pages rapidly. The mythology of the series is really starting to build up and the relationships between characters taking on new meanings. And at the centre, there’s always Lucifer, standing ever apart, always one step ahead of everybody else. Roll on volume 7.

Book details

ISBN: 9781401202491
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 2004

Lucifer Vol. 5: Inferno (Lucifer, #5)

By Mike Carey

Rating: 4 stars

Despite having lost most of his power, Lucifer has a meeting to attend in Hell, and he prides himself on always keeping his word. He has been challenged to a duel by the angel Amenadiel and the time has come to fulfil that obligation. Meanwhile, his consort, and war-leader of the Lilim, Mazikeen, is on the track of the god who has the two feathers that contain this power.

I found this story pretty riveting, with Lucifer’s pride in never going back on his word being shown as a major weakness, but he has enough intelligence and generally sneakiness that you always hope and feel that he’ll come out on top.

As well as the main story of Lucifer’s duel, at the end, there is a short story at the end about the parents of Elaine Belloc, who died in the previous volume, and the detective who will anger angels to find out the truth. Also, the fallen cherubim who hang around with Michael are awfully cute.

Although I’ve found earlier volumes in this series to be quite slow, the pace really picked up from the last volume and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the rest of the series now.

Book details

ISBN: 9781840238273
Publisher: Titan Books (UK)
Year of publication: 2004

Lucifer, Vol. 4: The Divine Comedy

By Mike Carey

Rating: 4 stars

Lucifer has bound open his portal to another universe and thrown gates throughout the cosmos, welcoming allcomers, his one commandment being: worship nothing. But the Basanos and other old foes are still out to get him, and they may finally have their chance.

Volume three of this series left me a bit underwhelmed, but this one had everything I wanted in spades: a nefarious plot coming to fruition; pride coming before a fall; cavalry coming to the rescue; and the voice of God. I can’t wait to get hold of the next volumes now to find out where Morningstar goes from here.

Book details

ISBN: 9781401200091
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 2003

Lucifer, Vol. 3: A Dalliance With the Damned

By Mike Carey

Rating: 3 stars

This volume of everybody’s favourite anti-hero contains three apparently unrelated triptychs, a story of what’s going on in Hell and a short after-story where Michael confronts Lucifer again.

This volume didn’t really do an awful lot for me. The three triptychs were interesting, the first being being Mazikeen’s story of trying to “fix” her face. After being an almost-illegible face in a mask for two volumes, it’s nice to see her get fleshed out a bit, and her story is taken up again in the final segment of the volume. Elaine’s story of trying to find her friend, a journey that takes her to Hell and back, was probably the least interesting of the three, while the final triptych showing Lucifer’s Garden of Eden and the serpent that appears there had a marvellous irony to it.

The second story, showing a power-play going on in Hell seemed like a side-show, with no real purpose other than to fill space. I liked the conceit that in a particular region of Hell, the fashion amongst demons has become to take on the aspect of Humans of the Renaissance period, and what comes of that, but the central story seemed weak, even if Christopher Rudd was quite a cool character.

The final, short, segment shows us the petitioners who come to Lucifer to try and gain entrance to his new Creation and how he deals with them, while simultaneously showing us two young people who are drawn to it and sneak in. I’m sure their fate is symbolic, but I’m not sure what of, other than showing just how callous Lucifer can be.

I’ll continue reading, as I find the arc plot interesting, but this volume of shorts seemed more like punctuation in the story rather than the next chapter.

Book details

ISBN: 9781563898921
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 2002

Children and Monsters

By Mike Carey

Rating: 4 stars

After gaining a gateway to the void beyond Creation as reward for a task done for Heaven in the previous volume, this volume shows us what Lucifer wants to do with it. Eventually. First, he must gather the tools, and while he’s doing that, protect it from those who would take it from him, especially the host of Heaven. First, Lucifer must reclaim his wings from the goddess of another afterworld, and then he moves his pawns to end up doing exactly what he needs.

This second volume of Lucifer’s story shows us just how manipulative and forward-planning the Lightbringer is. The stronger plot, with its quests and battles, help drive it along at a relentless pace and the final few pages, are breathtaking, with the size of Lucifer’s ambitions revealed. I can’t help wondering where the series will go next.

Book details

ISBN: 9781840233919
Year of publication: 2001

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