Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway

(2001) Mike Carey, Scott Hampton, et al, Titan Books, 12.99, trdpbk, 158pp, ISBN 1-84023-299-4


This is a collection of the first two Lucifer mini-series, "The Morningstar Option", beautifully drawn and painted by Scott Hampton, and "A Six Card Spread", ably illustrated by Chris Weston and James Hodgkins, plus "Born with the Dead", with idiosyncratic art by Warren Pleece and Dean Ormston. Neil Gaiman, in The Sandman had Lucifer quit Hell to open a piano bar in Los Angeles, and Mike Carey has done an excellent job of taking up the reins. In the first tale Lucifer is called upon by Heaven to intervene in the creation of a wish-fulfilling being in exchange for a letter of passage. In the second, Lucifer seeks a Tarot reading from a very special deck of cards while exploring the use of the letter. The pendant story feeds future continuity, though treads a little too closely in Gaiman's shoes. Obviously there will be more...

Carey's real achievement is in capturing and then improving upon Gaiman's original portrayal of Lucifer - indeed, in his introduction Gaiman tells us that "Carey's Lucifer is even more manipulative, charming and dangerous than I could have hoped." The Hampton art is gorgeous and rather overshadows the Weston & Hodgkins', which is actually quite good (a few rough edges, especially faces), while Pleece & Ormston also have their fans. All in all, this is a well-crafted, engaging and challenging piece of work; all due praise to Carey. Highly Recommended.

Tony Chester

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