Story: Dan Watters
Art: Max Fiumara, Sebastian Fiumara
Colors: Dave McCaig
Letterer: Steve Wands
What They Say:
Lucifer is missing. Having embarked on a dangerous journey to find the mother of his abandoned son, the Prince of Lies finds himself imprisoned and crippled by mysterious forces who seek to torment him for their own terrible ends. Meanwhile: a car is crashed, two witches blind themselves, a tumor speaks its first words, and a perfectly good bowl of oatmeal is left to go cold.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Within the world of Vertigo Comics, the character of Lucifer is an intriguing one. My only real experience with him is from the Sandman run back in the 90’s as I didn’t read his own series. I’m a big fan of the TV series which I know deviates, well, almost completely from the book but there’s a charm to that which works. So I was excited that in the Sandman Universe line that we’d be getting a new Lucifer book since there’ll always be stories to tell. This one comes from writer Dan Watters, my first experience with his work, and artists Max and Sebastian Fiumara with color work by Dave McCaig. I really like the Fiumara’s work from what I’ve seen before and with the way McCaig colors it here to make each of the two stories distinctive it works exceedingly well.
I have no idea where the character was left off in previous works and what knowledge from it will be needed here, but it opens well as we essentially get what seems like a “crazy” and ragged version of him trapped in a place where he exists but is now deciding that it’s time to get out of it. With a nod or two toward the king of Dreams and how he might have ended up here, it’s a curious walk through a place that feels very old and with an array of characters that are familiar, such as the two remaining witches from the coven of three, that’s all designed to keep him in place. We do get a nod toward the distant past to show us Lucifer in his prime, but seeing this Chris-like incarnation of him here is intriguing as it vacillates between him being simply a crazy man and someone with an incredible amount of intensity in getting back to where he once was.
To contrast this, we get the story of an L.A. detective named John Decker that’s given a blue shading to separate it. Decker is visiting his wife in the hospital who is pretty much just waiting to die and not altogether there. Through John’s narration, we get a good handle on how rough this whole thing has been, the way he’s been kept from helping his wife let go, and just the struggle of watching someone slowly die in front of you. You feel for him a lot with what’s presented here and seeing how things go so bad for him when he takes her for a drive (which isn’t clear how he wrangled that since she can’t give any kind of consent for anything) and having that end in tragedy just compounds things. His role looks to be setting up for something bigger to be sure and we see some threads of it here but it’s just unclear at the moment where it’ll really be going.
As is the case with the Sandman Universe books so far it looks like it’s going to take a few issues, if not the entire first arc, before things get to a place where I’ll feel comfortable going forward with it. That’s not exactly a great thing in my mind but I’m working off some nostalgia and hope here that this will come together well. The opening issue of Lucifer is definitely interesting with what it presents but it lacks a true hook to demand you to come back for more. I like a slow build storyline as much as most readers of Vertigo works but I also feel like all of the series are moving along so far at such a slow pace that it’s hard to get excited about them. Watters has two interesting tales starting up here and the artwork from the Fiumara’s and color work from McCaig are great. But it lacks that moment where it clicks and you can’t wait for the next installment to arrive.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Vertigo Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: October 17th, 2018