[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The Prince of Darkness, Lucifer himself, finds himself trapped in a village. His powers seem to have left him, and he is being held hostage by a group of seeming mortals. Elsewhere, a police detective comes home to find his catatonic and cancer-stricken wife on her feet and rambling at the door of his home. He takes her to the hospital, but the doctors want to keep her instead of releasing her back into the detective’s charge.
The resurrected Sandman Universe hasn’t produced a lot to grab my attention so far. House of Whispers seems to have a lot of potential, but it didn’t drag me into its world as much as I had hoped.
Leave it to Lucifer to be the one that most intrigues me. It’s just as esoteric and flighty with its plot as most of the other Sandman Universe books, but it grounds itself more in interesting characters that are far easier to get a grasp upon than The Dreaming or the Sandman Universe intro issue (even Lucifer’s section in that comic wasn’t especially grabbing).
Lucifer is a self-proclaimed dread god with immense power trapped in a seemingly banal village, while being fed oats and tricking would-be worshippers. It has echoes of the first Thor film, where the God of Thunder proclaims his might and power while being restrained with a taser and humbled by S.H.I.E.L.D agents.
The story of the detective, John Decker, is heart-breaking and presented with the understated misery that can make a plotline like this stick. It’s compelling and pitiable, and it is, as a result, engaging.
Max and Sebastian Fiumara have an art style that is similarly understated yet gritty, and it suits Lucifer excellently. As it is right now, the book is about a powerless has-been and an aging LAPD detective watching his wife slowly wither away while babbling about disturbing mysteries. It is the same kind of destitute and pseudo-apocalyptic tone that Max Fiumara brought to life in Dark Horse’s Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, and he and Sebastian do an excellent job here. Dave McCaig gives the color work a dim and dirty treatment, dragging the reader further into the mud, muck, and desolation of the story.
Lucifer #1 is a grabbing, grim, and, at times, funny opening salvo for this Sandman Universe title. Lucifer is humbled and brought low by mysterious forces, and an LAPD detective digs into a mystery about his dying wife, both stories are interesting and work together to hold up a compelling overall narrative for the reader. This one earns a recommendation, and I suggest checking it out.
Lucifer #1 comes to us from writer Dan Watters, artists Max and Sebastian Fiumara, color artist Dave McCaig, letterer Steve Wands, cover artist Jock, and variant cover artist Kelley Jones with Michelle Madsen.