Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lucifer Vol. 5 - Inferno

Lucifer Vol. 5 - Inferno
By Mike Carey, Peter Gross, & Ryan Kelly

The rise and fall in quality of this series ... it gets frustrating. It does. Just when you think writer Mike Carey is hitting his stride, just when you think you're going to understand all the accolades thrown his way because he just gave you a heaping helping of AWESOME, you get a mixed bag of great ideas and adequate execution. Such is the case with Inferno, which seems to slap together the end of Vol. 4 and the start of Vol. 6. By all rights, it shouldn't exist as its own volume.

Inferno picks up where The Divine Comedy left off, plunging Lucifer into Hell so he can confront a rival angel. It's a fine enough four-part story with some solid plot surprises, but the pacing stinks and the art is pretty bland. What is it about Vertigo fill-in artists that makes them so often wrong? Sad that the fantastic tale started in the previous volume ends like this.

(As a side note, I'm coming to find that uneven pacing is a repeated quirk of this series. When it's good, it's fine, but sometimes Carey gets into spurts where he is changing scenes on every page and can't quite nail down a satisfying flow.)

A one-shot sits in the middle of this volume, and it. Is. Outstanding. Absolutely outstanding. One of the best issues of the series. Dean Ormston does the art, and it rocks. Carey tells a nifty side story, and it rocks. The issue rocks. The whole thing rocks.

Did I mention it rocks?

Then it's into a two-party that is really just a prologue to Vol. 6 (Mansions of the Silence). The art is back up to speed, there is some very clever stuff happening, and Carey picks up a few storylines set aside prior to this volume. By the look of things, the next volume will be great, delving into Norse mythology and bringing the full supporting cast together for an epic journey.

But that's next volume. Infernoone is what we're dealing with here, and it is, sadly, a mixed bag.

An earlier version of this review was originally posted at

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

No comments:

Post a Comment