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Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway by Mike Carey
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Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway

by Mike Carey

Other authors: Scott Hampton (Illustrator), James Hodgkins (Illustrator), Dean Ormston (Illustrator), Warren Pleece (Illustrator), Chris Weston (Illustrator)

Series: Lucifer (1)

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» See also 24 mentions

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Entertainingly dark... keeps the Sandman flame alive in fine form. ( )
  unsquare | Feb 6, 2014 |
One of the most underrated comic book series ever! Carey too one of my favorite characters from the Sandman series and gave him a series worthy of him. If you like anti-heroes, bastards and broken things this is the comic book for you.


At some point in the future I'll dust off my single issues (cause yes I have them all bagged and boarded), sit down for a reread and write a full on review of the whole damn series. ( )
  EinfachMich | Sep 21, 2013 |
I recently reread Sandman, and while I do love it for its own sake, I must confess that my real reason for trekking through Gaiman's epic was to get to Carey's equally majestic, albeit much-less praised, story. Frankly, I'm not sure why that is, as in many ways, I think Lucifer surpasses its origin story. Both boast rich, and mostly independent cosmologies, but whereas for a significant part of its run, Sandman exists as a framework for Gaiman to write any kind of story he wants, Lucifer is surprisingly single-minded in telling the tale of the title character's most recent war against his creator. And frankly, I'd rather read about cunning, crafy, cold, cruel Lucifer than mopey Morpheus.

Volume one does little more than establish the setup for the rest of the series. Lucifer gets his Macguffin, and we meet the Basanos and Elaine. Sadly, Mazikeen gets short-shrift, but it's hard to do much with a character who can only barely be understood. But mostly, this book exists so that we can see what a brilliant bastard Lucifer can be. ( )
  jawalter | Nov 18, 2012 |
Mike Carey's Lucifer is a spin-off of Neil Gaiman's Sandman books, taking place after the Devil has retired from ruling Hell (that story was told in Gaiman's Sandman: Seasons of Mists). This first volume is comprised of two story arcs: The Morningstar Option and A Six-Card Spread and ends with the short story Born with the Dead, dropping plenty of hints and characters which I'm sure will be developed in future volumes. The Endless don't make an appearance in Carey's story, but their presence is hinted at, lurking behind the scenes. Carey writes Lucifer with wit and intelligence. Neil Gaiman praises him in the introduction.

The Morningstar Option sees Heaven in need of a favour from the Devil. A voiceless god out of prehistory has come into power and is feeding off of and granting human wishes.

"The poor, naked half-men,scared of their own shadows...They made the best gods they could, but they had no language to give shape to their imaginings. So the first gods were thin gray shadows, without form and without speech, dredged into being by the dumb longings of their worshippers." (p.33)

Lucifer needs a young Navajo girl, who unintentionally wished for her brother's death, to guide him to the First World, where the voiceless god lives. Scott Hampton's art for this story arc is painterly and impressive.

I found the second story, A Six-Card Spread less enjoyable. Neo-Nazis in Hamburg, an old man who runs a bookshop but is secretly an angel keeping a record of all human thought, a super-powered Tarot deck, and a wannabe cabaret-star/magician's assistant collide in this story. Chris Weston's art is very detailed, but very different from Hampton's art in the first story. It looks and feels much more "comic book-ish."

The collection ends on Born with the Dead, which I thought was a very powerful short story about a twelve year old girl, Elaine, who sees ghosts and sets out to avenge the murder of her best friend. The premise could easily have gotten hokey, but Carey writes in a way that infuses real empathy and suspense. I hope we see more of Elaine in future stories. ( )
  catfantastic | Jul 21, 2012 |
Since we last saw Lucifer in Murder Mysteries, mulling over the injustice of the Lord, some 13 billion years have passed. More than that if Murder Mysteries takes place before the creation of the universe, which it probably does. Since then, Lucifer has rebelled against the Lord, been consigned to Hell, given up Hell (its dominion passing into the hands of a pair of angels), and set up in a piano bar in L.A. because, you know, what else would you do? His former consort, Mazikeen, works there with him.

And he'd probably be there, enjoying himself just fine, if Amendiel, an angel himself, didn't pop into Lucifer's bar, Lux, from the Silver City to ask Lucifer to undertake a mission that the Lord can't be seen to directly intervene in. In "The Morningstar Option," someone's granting wishes, or something. It's all very vague and cosmological. Lucifer recruits a human girl who tied into the phenomenon and strikes out to put a stop to it. The story actually reminded me a lot of "The Thessaliad" in The Sandman Presents: Taller Tales in that Lucifer, like Thessaly, knows the ways these kinds of stories work, and therefore undertakes the story in line with the way it should go.

In the second story here, "A Six-Card Spread," Lucifer heads off the Germany to get another former angel to read some cards for him. Of course, there's trouble afoot, what with a bunch of racist thugs running around and the cards themselves gaining intelligence. And Lucifer's not the only person after them... (Who would have guessed that?)

In both good and bad ways, these remind me of the early Sandman stories. There are big, neat ideas being played with. But there's also a protagonist for whom no problem ever seems to exist. As in the Sandman stories, I found myself focusing on the minor mortal characters, because they had lives and problems and such. Lucifer only has smugness, and that works much of the time... but not all of it. I found "The Morningstar Option" more interesting, but "A Six-Card Spread" got bogged down in all the mythology of the cards, which I didn't find very interesting. Part of the problem (again, like early Sandman) is that the story often doesn't seem to operate by rules the reader is aware of. Lucifer and all the myriad demons do things when they need to, and that is that.

The villains of "The Morningstar Option" bothered me, in that they were gods from before our universe or something... but that didn't really matter. They could have been wish-granting Star Trek space aliens for all the difference it made to the story being told. Just saying "gods" didn't do a whole lot to make the story different.

The book ends with a short story, "Born with the Dead," about a girl whose dead grandmothers give her advice, which comes in handy when her best friend is murdered. I liked it a lot, probably for the same reason I liked a lot of the Sandman fill-in stories-- it had a protagonist I could identify with. Lucifer's here, but it's a small bit at the end.

Last time I read a Mike Carey take on a Sandman spin-off, I got the excellent The Furies. So far, this isn't bad, but it's no rival either.

Lucifer: « Previous in sequence | Next in sequence »
  Stevil2001 | Dec 17, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mike Careyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hampton, ScottIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hodgkins, JamesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ormston, DeanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pleece, WarrenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weston, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Lucifer is on a mission to locate the soul of a girl called Elaine, who bears the distinction of being God's granddaughter. But it's certainly not going to be an easy journey, as Lucifer travels through dimensions that are ever darker.

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