Thursday, February 20, 2003

Lucifer #35: A Review

Another week, another Sandman inspired spin-off.

One of the most intriguing characters to come out of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Lucifer has been the star of a solo mini-series which lead to this: a critically acclaimed, award-winning and fan favorite regular series which has been going on strong for nearly three years now.

Lucifer is, like The Sandman, is a mysterious figure that is working toward his own ends. His plans and goals are kept secret to all but his closest associates and are kept secret to the reader, who is brought along on the journey, seeing events transpire through the eyes of those Lucifer encounters in his journeys and quests.

Explaining the entire history of the series up to this point in a brief article would be impossible and pointless. No summary could do justice to Carey’s wonderful plotting and the details of the series do not lend themselves well to summarization. Besides, it would be a crime for me to rob you of the chance to read this most wonderful series, three trade-paperback volumes of which now collect the early issues of the series.

Therein lies the problem of reviewing this issue. Because this issue does suffer a bit in that unless you have read the last major story arc, there are some details that will go over your head. That’s not to say that the basic gist of things cannot be understood: merely that the finer details will not be fully appreciated by new readers.

The story in this issue follows two subplots. The first details Lucifer’s search for a magical boat, promised to him by Loki (yes, the Norse Trickster god, Loki), which Lucifer wants to borrow for a journey of some kind. The second (and more explored plot) details the adventures of a supernatural detective, who a) believes he gets his orders from God himself and b) is currently trying to find the killer of series regular Elaine Belloc, who has a parentage and upbringing that is a whole article unto itself.

About the artwork, I can say little except that it portrays the sheer epic scope of the writing well. All the characters have a distinctive look to them and all the unusual, fantasy creatures (demons, angels, giants, etc.) are portrayed with a surprising level of realism.

Despite the involved and often convoluted storyline, I highly recommend this book to all those who have the patience for a good, long story because Carey is definitely building this title towards something good.

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