Lucifer No. 3: ‘The annulment of Heaven and Hell’

Lucifer slowly comes to his senses.

Vertigo Comics has four new series out, set inside the world of the Sandman , and it’s possible that Lucifer is the most convoluted and layered. Books of Magic , House of Whispers , and The Dreaming , while cleverly nuanced and wickedly tricky, are fairly straightforward and simple to draw conjectures from, while Lucifer seems to demand an intricate knowledge of history and of the particular histories of Satan and the various classical interpretations of His fall. Writer Dan Watters , illustrators Sebastian and Max Fiumara , colorist Dave McCaig , and letterer Steve Wands have created a haunting and gruesome tale of loss, redemption, reflection and discovery; this latest issue reveals a unique look at one of Satan’s greatest interpreters. All-powerful deities like Lucifer shouldn’t feel so confused

Last issue it was made pretty clear that Lucifer, somehow, was trapped in his own mind, or perhaps the mind of someone else. It wasn’t made clear how that was possible, but almost anything is possible in The Dreaming, of which there is a high likelihood of him being located in, so we’re just rolling with it. His legs were shattered in a fall, and this issue starts out with him unable to heal them, and suffering the consequences of attempting to mess with his tortured flesh. Bill Blake, the gentleman on the scooter he encountered in the first issue , brings him back his talking shovel, and, as Lucifer is cutting off his own fingers, recounts his tale of terrible suffering. Meanwhile, John Decker, recently enlightened as to the existence of his own brain tumor, awakes after witnessing terrible demons residing in Gately House, the sober facility his dead wife’s cousin lives at. He hears Caliban, Satan’s son, and Mazikeen, a devil, discussing the latent powers inside Decker, as he accidentally witnesses demons playing chess. William Blake’s descent into madness and his visions of Lucifer Decker and his wife’s cousin agree to meet at a hotel nearby, and Decker is given an amulet of protection. Meanwhile, Lucifer and Bill, William Blake , sit and, as Blake shatters his cane and rips his belt in half, he tells to Lucifer the story of his life; how nobody would take interest in his twisted and horrific visions, how he accused his friends of plagiarism, and how one day he met Lucifer, who begged him to not write a future work which depicted the machinations of the Devil.

After an ominous warning against creating the story, Blake heads home and proceeds to tirelessly work, until he is driven mad by his thoughts and disembowels himself, to write his greatest work in literal blood. He sets his work on fire and dies, and back in “reality” uses his broken belt and cane to craft splints for Lucifer’s legs. The two head out and begin digging again, finding another statue, that of his caretaker, and Blake is found crucified. After some conniving by Caliban and Lucifer in the “real world”, the issue ends, with a mysterious Jack orchestrating things.

One has to really know their literature to fully make sense of Lucifer , it seems, otherwise it’s a haunting tale of mystery and who-dunnit, however, the slow revealing of clues that bring the reader to the conclusions the writer wants has been occurring at a pace both leisurely and frenetic, it would seem. Perhaps the Lucifer in the real world, with Caliban, is an impostor. Who knows? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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