The chronicles of the Lightbringer’s (mis)deeds are also strewn with stand-alone shorts where the antihero himself does not appear. This volume opens with “Fireside Stories,” a tale that gives us a glimpse in the life of Martin, the boy adopted by the stitchglass weaver Thole from the volume Exodus. It’s kind of bittersweet, containing truths about white lies and facts we have to face, and even if the speakers appear to make their statements as admonitions, the tale as a whole doesn't sound preachy at all. The stories within this story are just as thought-provoking as the wisdom the boy utters. I’m glad to see Martin alive and well; as a minor character he resonates a lot with the readers.
SPOILERS ABOUND! The next issues deal with Lucifer and Elaine Belloc as they finish some business and say farewells. The first part of “Evensong” follows Lightbringer as he do the last things he must before going into the void forever: he goes to the Japanese Afterlife one more time to meet Queen Izanami; he visits the artist-angel Meleos and gives him a ‘parting gift’; he gives advice to Elaine, his niece; and of course, he meets with Mazikeen—his most faithful soldier and lover—for one last time. As I turn more pages, I'm more and more reminded of The Sandman series. This volume as a whole tracks the footfalls of Sandman's tenth volume The Wake, but a larger chunk of it reminds me of Morpheus as he goes to Hell in Season of Mists (The Sandman#4). Mazikeen’s scenes are the most heart-pinching, even if she doesn’t lose one iota of badass awesomeness in her throughout the end. Maz practically freaks out when she hears the Morningstar is leaving [cue caps lock] WITHOUT HER. Lucifer says she will give her a goodbye gift, but Maz is already hurt. Here’s a fragment of their exchange:
MAZ: What can you give me that will make a difference? Not to see you—not to touch you again…
LUCIFER: Mazikeen. When I walk away from here, everything else will fall from me like sloughed skin. You—I'll have to work to forget.
By now it is apparent that Lucifer is several notches above any characters in this series that are considered dynamic and enchanting, but they beat him when it comes to empathizing with others. However, the bit of dialogue above shows us that after all, he has really loved Mazikeen and is now at least being vocal about it. He's more humanized by now, but not so much that he is not himself anymore. Carey knows the right formula to make the right Lucifer potion bubble.
Moving on, Lucifer gives Mazikeen his promised boon and in return Maz gives her his: a deep scar across his face. Best kind of cariño brutal? Perhaps. This way, Mazikeen says he will not forget her love; he may erase the scar, but he will prove himself a coward and a liar if he does. I will definitely miss these two. They’ve successfully wormed their way up my OTPs ladder.
On we move to the next issues: there’s an interlude of cleanup episode called “The Gaudium Option” featuring Gaudium and Spera, commissioned by Elaine. It’s hilarious and somewhat vulgar (all because of Gaudium’s potty mouth) but it has touching scenes as well. Elaine Belloc being the hardest to adjust is expected, as becoming the God of her alternate universe is no easy feat. I almost tear up when she meets up with her adopted mother and tinkers with the latter’s memories so she won’t remember Elaine. It must really hurt her, but being a God means a lot of responsibilities and this is just one. She moves on and wraps other things up, but she realizes that when “you tie [the loose ends] off, one by one, you realize that you're not leaving anything at all to hang on to. Until finally, you fall off. Into the sky.”
The girl’s night out as featured in “Eve” is the last time we will ever see the strong female cast of this series, arranged by no other than Elaine herself (one of the loose ends, you know). We see the fairytale endings and the happily-never-afters; we see change, and we see how the characters know the inevitable step forward they have to take…because when it all comes down to it, the only choice they have is to face the future. I have a feeling that I won't see these characters again in other books. :'(
The last chapter that Carey wrote before he finally closes the curtain is “All We Need of Hell,” which is about Lucifer and his final journey to the void. He meets with Yahweh in the Barrow Jane, and there he is offered a potlatch gift. This gift is in some way the only thing that can quench his thirst for something that no one else can give him. His decision did not surprise me as Lucifer can only be himself and nobody else; I got really sad when he takes off and never looks back, and the readers know that this might be the case forever. I almost cried. There. I admitted it.
Well, that’s one great, unforgettable ride! I think it’s safe to say that this series is on par with The Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman. Carey did an excellent job in developing Lucifer on his own, finding his own voice, using his own hands to shape the characters to perfection. I’m in awe of these two geniuses.
Before I end this review, I would like to commend the amazing artists of the series. It took me some time to like their different styles, but in the end I loved the illustrations genuinely. I’m particularly amazed by the art of “All We Need of Hell.” Here are sample pages:
You be the judge. It reminds me of Pieter Bruegel’s painting called “The Fall of the Rebellious Angels”, at least if it's done with redder colors. Spot-on, indeed.
The issue also contains better reimaginings of the scenes in Season of Mists (The Sandman) when Lucifer decides to abandon his throne. Don’t get me wrong—I liked Lucifer with a template of David Bowie, but the art in this book clicks better with my taste.
Overall, this is a very great read. It may sound creepy (and perhaps blasphemous) to others, but I’ve grown quite fond of Lucifer. It really saddens me to say goodbye, but if I miss this I can always reread it, right? ;)
Download Lucifer, Vol. 11 [PDF]
|Filename||Filesize||Library source||Download link|
|lucifer_vol_11_[screamy_books].doc||12,3 Mb||Screamy books|