Title: Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway.
Author: Mike Carey.
Artist: Scott Hampton, Chris Weston, James Hodgkins, Warren Pleece, and Dean Ormston.
Genre: Graphic novel, fiction, fantasy, religion.
Publication Date: 2001.
Summary: Cast out of Heaven, thrown down to rule in Hell, Lucifer Morningstar has resigned his post and abandoned his kingdom for the mortal city of Los Angeles. The former Lord of Hell is now enjoying a quiet retirement as the proprietor of Lux, L.A.'s most élite piano bar. But now an assignment from the Creator Himself is going to change all that. If Lucifer agrees to do Heaven's dirty work, he can name his own price - but both the task and the reward are more than they seem. Thrown into a position of great threat and ultimate opportunity, Lucifer knows that threading a path through this maze will require the harshest of sacrifices.
My rating: 8/10
My review: To me, Lucifer was one of the most compelling and complex characters in the entire Sandman universe (not to mention, the concept of Lucifer in our world in general has always fascinated me), so the fact that he got his own spin-off was a delightful discovery. The fact that Mike Carey managed to develop the character to become even more interesting and yet more compelling was a delightful surprise. I would imagine it's difficult to write a person who seems to be the hero and the anti-hero at the same time. I loved every complexity of the story, particularly Carey's take on the Navajo legend of the Voiceless Gods and humans' separation from them. My favourite part by far was the introduction of the Tarot. As a person whose Tarot deck has been a constant companion to her for many years, I loved the concept of the deck acting as "riders" of a host. Research had obviously been done into the meaning of the Tarot, and it's been weaved into the plot seamlessly, with every card being its own symbol and personality that would seem to anyone intimately familiar with the Tarot slightly nostalgic and right on point.
♥ “Before you took up your place here you were a tutelary spirit. You had care of silence. It’s in that capacity that I come to you now. I was never a guardian, of course, but I always felt that you got the shitty end of the stick. Adam’s children allow so little room in their lives for silence -- and yet despite its rarity they seem incapable of valuing it.”
♥ “Humanity. All the race of man tell the story of their own origins, but they all disagree in the details.”
“Do the details matter?”
“The details are all that matters. The Bible tells that story in terms of time -- one thing after another. First there was darkness, then there was light. Your people remember it differently. They see the darkness as a tunnel that they crawled through to reach the light. A vertical tunnel. The light was in another place, far above. This means nothing to you, does it?”
“Ummm… Not a lot. Is it a birth metaphor?”
“No. It’s the thing for which birth is a metaphor. In any case, the Dineh tell the story as a journey. A hard and terrible journey, the place they started from was First World. Where there darkness was. Where it still is. Understand me. Whatever lived there then lives there still, though your kind abandoned this place half a million years ago. There were forests of black oaks, a hundred feet tall, standing invisible in the dark. There are creatures… predators... that have not eaten in geological ages. You have forgotten the Voiceless, but they have not forgotten you. They want you to come home. Want the feel of your fear and your worship. But while the darkness is a home for them, for you it was only a womb. You betrayed them when you were born into the light. And I don’t imagine for a moment that they’ve learned to let go.”
♥ And he counts them off in his mind as he plays, desire’s slaves. Mahu of the Lilim, shipwrecked on the vast inland of his own rage. Frank Begai, waiting for the phone to tell him whether or not he can live again. And Rachel, heading on West from Grants into the reservation land, looking for a blessing that she won’t accept when it comes. Because all the waters of the ocean won’t fill a bucket with a hole in it.
And that’s their fall, and that’s their fellowship. Desire. The hole in the bucket: the gulf of yearning into which the soul empties itself. He drops a note. The discord is his tribute to them.
♥ “You’ve got the seeds of greatness. Gunter knows. That’s why he’s so hard on you. He’s testing you. That’s what this is all about, son. You’ve got to pay the price of admission. You said so yourself. Be decisive. Be stern and swift. Be magnificent.”
♥ “I don’t need to warn you where your need for forgiveness will bring you. Atonement is at best a journey of uncertain length to an unknown destination. But so is revenge, of course. We both embrace our own destruction.”
♥ “Those who believe in free will make the best puppets of them all.”