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Lucifer: Children and Monsters by Mike Carey

Lucifer: Children and Monsters (2001)

by Mike Carey

Other authors: Peter Gross (Illustrator), Ryan Kelly (Illustrator), Dean Ormston (Illustrator)

Series: Lucifer (2), Lucifer TPBs (2)

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Lucifer getting his wings back. Mazikeen losing her face. Elaine learning who she really is. And to top it all off, the creation of a new universe. I really do love this series.

Much like Constantine, Lucifer's greatest strength seems to be that you never really know how much he's actually capable of. Carey gives very little emphasis to what, exactly, his powers and resources are. Sometimes reputation is all you need, which is how he can leave his gate guarded by two demons and a barmaid (and the void guarded by just a hungry baby) and get away with it. ( )
  jawalter | Nov 18, 2012 |
The second volume of Mike Carey's Lucifer sees the retired ruler of Hell in a conflict with the armies of Heaven over a gateway into Nothing - an uncreated void. Carey's writing is competent, but he's not in the same class as Gaiman, and the artwork in this volume is perfunctory comic book art, nothing amazing.

In the first story arc, The House of Windowless Rooms, Lucifer visits the Japanese underworld in order to retrieve his wings. Meanwhile, grotesque, shape-stealing, Jin En Mok try to take over the gateway, which is being guarded by Lucifer's loyal, disfigured servant, Mazikeen. Unexpectedly, the cabaret-singer infused with the demon Tarot pack makes a return appearance.

The Children and Monsters story arc sees the Heavenly Host united in the Silver City as an angelic army, ready to take down Lucifer at any and all costs. At the same time, Elaine, the little girl who can see ghosts, returns from the first volume with a surprising origin story that ties into the angelic conflict. ( )
  catfantastic | Jul 21, 2012 |
In Devil in Gateway, Lucifer got some kinda paper from the Silver City.  In this book, he uses it, opening up a gateway that draws people to his bar for reasons they don't fully understand, but more importantly, allowing him to travel where he needs to go next.  For you see, Lucifer has a plan... just not one that we are privy to.  In "The House of Windowless Rooms," Lucifer travels into the Japanese afterworld to get his wings back.

This is where I started to get bored with Lucifer.  Honestly, the premise that the universe contains innumerable different belief systems, all true, doesn't do much for me.  It worked in The Sandman, which often treated the idea fancifully, but Lucifer takes them all seriously-- and you can't take them all seriously, because they're not compatible.  I think it makes the story of Lucifer have a whole lot less impact if he's not rebelling against the Lord, but one of a countless number of gods.  Lucifer doesn't really treat them as belief systems, just complicated fantasy worlds into which our protagonist travels.  And our protagonist does not have to be Lucifer, he could jut be any old grouchy wizard and the story would be exactly the same.

The other reason that "The House of Windowless Rooms" didn't work for me is because it's the point where Lucifer's all-knowingness became too much.  To travel into the Japanese afterlife, he must travel as a mortal... but it makes no difference.  From twelfth page, where he blind the gatekeeper, it's obvious the despite being mortal, he still knows everything about everything and thus he's never in any danger. Plus, everyone he goes up against is dumb-- and that doesn't make him seem smart.  You just know he's gonna win no matter what.  What ever happened to suspense?

Meanwhile, his piano bar comes under attack from gross demon things, and this did work for me, since it felt like there was actual danger.  Mazikeen and the human waitress are vulnerable-- very vulnerable-- and so there was actually some suspense.  Also the sassy magician woman from Devil in the Gateway makes a surprise reappearance, and I liked her.

The second story here, the titular "Children and Monsters," brings back Elaine, the girl with ghostly grandmothers from last volume.  I liked her too, so it's a welcome reappearance.  Then there's a lot of strange mythological stuff and Lucifer knows everything about everything and the Heavenly Host invade Los Angeles, but turn out to be pretty lame.  Elaine made me care some, but I didn't care a lot.  It's kinda like one of those Star Trek or Doctor Who episodes where everyone is always talking about a ray and it doesn't mean anything because the ray does whatever it needs to at that moment, except with a gross version of a vaguely Christian mythology.

But, the ending.  Hmmmm... This was the moment where it became clear why this was a story about the Lucifer, and not Lucifer the Grouchy Amoral Wizard.  So I'm intrigued enough to keep on going, at least.

Lucifer: « Previous in sequence | Next in sequence »
1 vote Stevil2001 | Dec 17, 2011 |
Reading Lucifer almost immediately after Sandman really highlights quite how different a class Gaiman is in to Carey. Don't get me wrong, I love Carey's work. But a few things did jar.

Gaiman, in all of the Sandmand series, manages to leave it ambiguous as to whether the authority in the Silver City is the Christian god or not. With Carey it's very difficult to choose to keep that ambiguity. The other one that bothers me is the writing of the Japanese gods (Suzano-o-no-Mikoto's lot). The langauge is orders of magnitude too informal. Which, given that it was a key plot point in Sandman, is a little disappointing.

Having said that, I'm enjoying the story and looking forward to the other volumes. I did, in fact, break a lengthy embargo on Forbidden Planet today to acquire volumes 5 and 6 as I wasn't going to be anywhere near another comic shop for a little while.

The other thing this has brought to mind is that my entire perception of the Christian mythology around Lucifer is based on Gaiman's "Murder Mysteries", which is - let's face it - a somewhat unusual take. ;-) ( )
1 vote elmyra | Mar 29, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mike Careyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gross, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kelly, RyanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ormston, DeanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Hah! I win. When you have no bones left at all, Kijo, I will devour you.
To harvest in springtime is somehow intensely unenasthetic.
Your army seems rather small, Sandalphon, and rather mutinous.
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