Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lucifer Vol. 4 - The Divine Comedy

Lucifer Vol. 4 - The Divine Comedy
By Mike Carey, Peter Gross, & Ryan Kelly


Mike Carey's grand epic about the fallen angel Lucifer finally lives up to its potential, delivering a gripping story about Lucifer's Creation, a bold attempt to take it from him, and another Fall.

What's not to like about this? The art is sharp, the storytelling crisp and clear, and the story itself is nothing short of dynamite.

Carey uses the conceit of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy in reverse, opening with the three-part Paradiso, which depicts the grandness of Lucifer's rebellious creation, then steering into the three-part Purgatorio, during which Lucifer's own folly comes back to haunt him and he is cut off from that which he created. Standalone stories bridge the gaps between each section. (Inferno gets its own volume in Vol. 5 of this series.) Much of what previously laid groundwork explodes in this set of story arcs, including stuff going way back to the first few issues. Important supporting characters see some major action here, some of them changed in big ways.

But most impressive here is how much Carey's writing -- the raw prose -- has improved from the first volume or two. Finally he's able to tangle with Neil Gaiman, from whose Sandman series Lucifer leapt. The writing is rich, at times beautiful, but never shows off. It's always in the right voice, depending on viewpoint, and very well done.

Epic and wonderful, this is the stuff that made me want to read this series in the first place.

An earlier version of this review was originally posted at IMWAN.com.

Read my regular, everything-and-anything (usually on writing and music) blog right over here.

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