Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lucifer Vol. 11: Evensong

Written by Mike Carey
Art by Zander Cannon, Peter Gross, Aaron Alexovich, Dean Ormston, Ryan Kelly, and Jon J. Muth

There was a stretch of time, through the second half of Carey's 75-issue long Lucifer series, where I was becoming less and less impressed with the book.  The art was always lovely, and Carey's writing was pretty strong, but I found that I was starting to lose interest in the plot, as it became more and more about the second war in heaven, and was losing its focus on the supporting cast that made this comic so good.

At the core of my displeasure was the fact that Lucifer, as a character, was never very interesting.  I never found myself caring about his plans, or his rage at his father.  What I liked were the creatures he'd surrounded himself with.

This final volume, which collects the last five issues of the series, wisely spends less time with Lucifer than it does with his crew, and for that reason, I found it to be an excellent send off.  Elaine, taking on her new role in the universe, spends a little time saying good-bye to her companions.  The book starts with her visiting a Centaur storytelling contest, where she meets an old acquaintance, and gains some positive human experience (I can't think of a better artist than Zander Cannon to tell this story).  Later, Elaine has a 'girls' night' with Mazikeen, Spera, Jill Presto, and Mona that is poignant and funny, and helps bring all of these characters' arcs to a close.  There is also a final Gaudium story, which is always a nice addition.

Of course, the central part of the book is the last meeting between Lucifer and Jahweh, after Carey gives us a retrospective look at Lucifer's existence.  This meeting is a big deal, but I found that the quieter moments were of more importance.

Also included at the end of this book is a one-shot painted by Jon J. Muth, and published in the early days of this title.  I found that it was jarring to read this so quickly after finishing Lucifer's story, and it's addition (beyond being beautiful) did nothing to add to my enjoyment of these characters.

I'm glad I finally got around to reading this series.  It demonstrated how well Carey and Gross have worked together in the past, and was a reminder of the days when there was some form of continuity among some of the Vertigo books.

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