Once there was an angel named Samael, who was the most beautiful and prideful of his race. He plotted treason against his creator and was cast out, falling into the realm which would become known as Hell. It was here that he took the name Lucifer Morningstar and united the other fallen angels and monsters that flocked to his banner into an army that would one day conquer Heaven.
This is not that story.
Ages later, Lucifer grew bored with the games of Hell. Then one day he realized that his role as The Adversary of God was but another aspect of God’s plan and that for all of his power he was still a pawn. So Lucifer abandoned Hell, leaving its management to others as he retired to Earth and built a nightclub and a new life for himself as a simple piano player.
This is not that story either.
Later still, Lucifer was given the chance to craft a pocket universe of his own design in exchange for a favor to God. He took that chance, giving birth to a number of unforeseen consequences. In the end, Lucifer and God both agreed to abandon reality and go their separate ways, leaving the cosmos to its own devices.
This is where our story begins. With Lucifer having returned to our universe and his nightclub in Los Angeles. He is wounded from an undescribed battle and unable to heal. Worse yet, God himself is dead and Lucifer is the prime (and indeed only) suspect.
His brothers in Heaven are so desperate for justice they’ve even offered Gabriel (an angel who did not fall so much as he was pushed) a full pardon if he brings back Lucifer’s head. But The Lightbringer still has need of his head and proves ready to solve the murder himself. Not because Lucifer cares about proving his good name or seeing justice done, but because if he can’t kill God himself he can certainly kill whoever robbed him of the chance to do the deed.
Lucifer is back and he’s brought the whole bally Vertigo shared universe back with him! This issue wastes no time in confirming that this series will be a continuation of the story that started in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman before spinning off into Mike Carey’s original Lucifer series. There’s even a nod to Garth Ennis’ Hellblazer, as the version of the archangel Gabriel once entrapped into falling by John Constantine and a succubus is brought into the mix.
The transition from those tales to this one proves completely seamless. Holly Black perfectly captures the essence of Lucifer as a character and explains all the history we need to know smoothly enough. This is one of those rare comics that will please long-time fans of the original series while still proving accessible and enjoyable to new readers.
The artwork proves as excellent as the writing. Lee Garbett presents a series of eye-catching visuals throughout and the action of the story flows smoothly and easily from panel to panel. Colorist Antoni Fabela contributes to the final work thematically, rendering Heaven’s hallways in muted off-whites and greys while Lucifer’s domain is depicted in stark whites and blacks with the warm oranges and reds of fire hovering upon the edges of the shadows. And what can I say about Todd Klein’s wonderful lettering that has not been said before?
This comic is no mere TV tie-in. It is a wonderful continuation of the Vertigo legacy. God willing we’ll have another 74 issues to complete what may become known to future audiences as the Unholy Trilogy. And if God isn’t willing, perhaps The Devil will give us our due?