[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Watters
Artists: Max Fiumara, Sebastian Fiumara
Colors: Dave McCaig
Letters: Steve Wands
Lucifer is stumbling and falling and clearly unwell, but finally beginning to heal. The help of Sycorax keeps him moving forward, but the condemned souls of his past assault his weakened state. Inside a dimension of suffering Sycorax shares the story of the love and betrayal she found in the arms of Lucifer, and the son they created. Is this the future Antichrist?
This was a great story.
Starting with the art and the cover which is just gorgeous. A beautiful image of the dark shadowy figure Sycorax holding the limp body of Lucifer in her arms. Her dark ominous eyes and expression contain secrets that no one will ever know. Lucifer is emaciated, bearded, with a scraggly red beard, white pants, and an open shirt, revealing a vulnerable torso.
A very strong opening in a desert wasteland. Sycorax strolling with a purpose, and Lucifer falling behind causing her little concern. Her contempt at his condition feels personal and forced. I love how she chides him for making her tend his wounds, which she claims to have already done before.
Lucifer is regaining his senses, and this is something that the souls he condemned are ready to seize upon. Robert Johnson the famed guitarist of the crossroads who changed rock and roll but also died at 27, screams his injustice and sets the devil afire with a Molotov cocktail. Lesser known characters make claims against Lucifer’s double-dealings and the suffering they always bring.
Even William Blake makes a brief appearance, chiding Lucifer for always enjoying the poet’s unending kindness, only to be met with inhuman malevolence from the Morning Star.
The red hues and dusty desert shades create a palette of amber, maroon, and rust.
I think it’s hard to tell an original story about a character from one of the first and oldest stories.
He is escaping the suffering he has been experiencing, not healing, a prisoner of his own lies.
Lucifer facing down the souls he condemned is a lovely series of comeuppance for the Lord of Lies. But, my enjoyment came from his indifference. Set him on fire and try to attack him and he keeps being Lucifer. He is brash, unforgiving, always ready with a quick retort that places the blame squarely on the shoulders of the damned.
The story of Caliban is heartbreaking and tender. Sycorax is a maligned lover, seeking a true heart to match hers and finding only weak men. The dialogue between her and Lucifer shows two perspectives of the same story at conflict in the telling.
The child of Sycorax and Lucifer was born into suffering and is a broken creature. Their child could be the next Antichrist, but in his bearing and mannerisms, I see only a large boy in need of a hug.
The art is lonely and forlorn in every scene. Muted blue-green shades tint the story of Sycorax and Lucifer with a soft hue that is gorgeous. It is a relief from the opening pages of crumbling mauve, maroon and amber, and a needed tonal shift to the dark gloom of the real world where Lucifer and Sycorax finally escape.
Lucifer is something of an animal in the opening pages, and yet his speech and intention reveal that he is in the midst of a plan. It might just be a series of fail-safes to prevent his undoing at the hands of his memories, but the feigned weakness that is heightened by stretches of silence, that might be better served with visual or verbal cues. Increasing the reader’s sense of awareness and paying closer attention to what Lucifer is saying when he doesn’t speak or act would build the suspense.
Hands down this was a lovely transition issue. I was dropped right into a story of suffering and pain and love and heartache and I wanted more. Much like the birth of Caliban, the result is something dark and foreboding and burning with the hellfire of his father and submerged beneath the deep waters of his mother’s soul.