(2006) Mike Carey, Peter Gross and Ryan Kelly, Titan Books, £9.99, trdpbk, 192pp, ISBN 1-84576-293-2
I'm told this is the penultimate collection of the ongoing title and it gathers issues 62-69 of it - though the events here are pretty 'ultimate' as these things go. Any readers not familiar with the first 61 issues will just get lost, so go back and start from the beginning! However, a brief recap for those who are up to speed: Yahweh has absented Himself from His creation and, since it was only the Name that was holding things together, reality has started to fall apart. The Fenris wolf is loose and has tricked Lucifer into killing his brother Michael and spilling his blood on the World Tree, Yggdrasil. The Primum Mobile is vacant and neither Michael or Lucifer had wanted to take up the role. Lilith has taken control of the Lilim from her daughter, and Lucifer's companion, Mazikeen, and now leads the host on the Silver City built by them at the dawn of Creation. Elaine Belloc has acquired the power of her father, Michael, and has been coached in Creation by Lucifer, creating a universe of her own. Hell is in control of Master Christopher Rudd and the angel Duma, and the Tarot-creature, the Basanos, have seen the birth of its/their daughter Noema by Jill Presto. OK?
This volume opens with issue 62, "The Wheels of God", with guest artist Colleen Doran, which introduces Solomon, a judgemental character who is whisked away by the angel Meleos, to reappear somewhat later. Then it's into "Morningstar" (issues 63-5) and the big plotline. Mazikeen is being hunted by the Jin En Mok and Lucifer is having a confrontation with Noema; she takes him back to Hell while the Lilim bring the Silver City crashing to the ground. And humans are dying; just dying, stopping, lost as Creation falls apart. To digress a moment: the mainstream DC Universe has been undergoing the Infinite Crisis reshuffle and, though Vertigo, and therefore Lucifer, continuity has never been explicitly tied in, the events here do mirror, to some extent, the universe-destroying events of the super-heroic universe. Anyway, back to the plot... Lucifer attempts to enlist the aid of Christopher Rudd and his combined legions of the damned and the demons, since it's clear the angels need all the help they can get defending the Primum Mobile, but Rudd is reticent. Then the final assault on the Silver City begins. Just in time for Mike Kaluta to draw the 'interlude', issue 66, "The Beast Can't Take Your Call Right Now", in which the comic relief demons, Gaudium and his sister Spera, are called to Earth by the magician Culver Harland for the usual three wishes deal. Finding Hell empty, Harland uses his power to make himself king of that realm, only to find that even inept demons are more than a match for him... Then "Morningstar" pt.2 (issues 67-9) concludes this volume. Rudd's host hold back the Lilim, but not Fenris, Lucifer convices Elaine Belloc to sit upon the Primum Mobile, Noema is forced to become Lucifer's messenger, and Yahweh is finally found, looking for guidance on what to do with creation... As for what happens, well, you wouldn't want me to spoil that, now would you? So, join the fun and read this excellent title - there's not much of it left! Super-highly recommended.
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