Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lucifer Vol. 10 - Morningstar

Lucifer Vol. 10 - Morningstar
By Mike Carey, Peter Gross, & Ryan Kelly

Oh, how you frustrate me, Mike Carey. This wasn’t supposed to be brilliant. It wasn’t supposed to be good. It wasn't supposed to be wonderful. But it was.

How you frustrate me.

I was ready to stop reading this series. Bored, uninterested, no longer “feeling it.” Its uneven pacing and the holding pattern that was Crux finally pushed me near the bailing point. And then Morningstar comes along and I find myself in love with all things Lucifer. How did this happen? How can you have turned around something that was spinning off the rails into Overpraisedville? How can you have rescued it and made it great? Yes, GREAT.

This, the tenth volume in Carey’s Sandman spinoff, is a brisk, involving look at the climactic clash between heaven, hell, the Lilim, and various other factions. God is gone. The universe is dying. And Lucifer, the Fallen Son, the Lightbringer, the Morningstar, wants to save it. Thing is, a dozen other factions have their own aims in mind. A slew of other stories are ready to intersect. Amazingly, Carey managed to weave all these threads together into a functioning whole.

No, more than a functioning whole. A dynamic, dramatic, damned good whole.

If Crux was an unmoving bore and little more than an extended setup, this was an extended climax. Characters fight and die. Stories set into motion 40, 50, 60 issues prior come to a head. Stuff you hated earlier suddenly seems worthwhile. And the resolution to things … it actually makes sense! Not only do you buy it, looking back it appears as if it was part of the plan all along. It’s the natural end to the stories Carey was telling.

Damn. I was not expecting this.

So, one more volume to go. I expect it will be an extended coda wrapping up a few character arcs and stuff. But for now ...

Sheesh. Against all hope, he pulled it together in the end. He really did! This was awesome.

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

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