"Lucifer: Morningstar" is the latest trade paperback collection and brings the long-running series to its apocalyptic conclusion. The book collects issues #62 - 69 of the celebrated Vertigo comic series and the climax to the war in Heaven storyline that has been running over the course of the last few collections. When Lucifer first came out back in 2000 I was quite skeptical. DC had dealt with tales of Heaven & Hell with titles like Swamp Thing and Hellblazer before but here was Hell's ruler in his own title. Well darned if DC didn't pull it off and deliver a fallen angel who managed to gain the sympathy of the reader.
As the book opens, Lilith, the first woman, and the architect of Heaven, is leading her children, the Lilim against the forces of The Silver City. God has disappeared and Lilith means to destroy his throne, the Primum Mobile, to prevent God from returning home. Meanwhile Lucifer gathers his own forces that include Lilith's daughter Mazikeen, and the human woman Elaine, herself now a divine power and maker of her own form of creation.
Lucifer visits Hell's new ruler, Christopher Rudd, in the hopes of convincing him toaid Heaven in their battle with Lilith. This puts Rudd in a sticky situation. His own goal is to eliminate the division between Hell and Heaven and do away with this class system. Think of him as a 60's, hippie commune leader! Rudd wants change but he also doesn't want to see Heaven, and all creation destroyed as Lilith does.
One element I love is Mike Carey's inclusion of the Fenris Wolf as an ally of Lillith. The Fenris Wolf is a Norse myth and he, or it is included as the last remnant of a forgotten pantheon of Gods, who has survived by accident as a force of pure destruction. A clever mix of Christian and pagan beliefs!
The battle is of epic proportions...making things like Infinite Crisis seem like an afternoon tea party. This isn't a battle for the world, but for all creation. Carey's depiction of the Almighty is interesting and a bit humorous in a dry way. He's certainly no burning bush! The art is uniformly great throughout and features the talents of Colleen Doran, Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly, and Mike Kaluta. Kaluta's interlude piece is hilariously brilliant.
While the series does end the story doesn't. Many questions about the new order of Heaven, Hell, and the world itself are left unanswered for perhaps a later series. Carey's epic will remain one of the more talked about comics for many years to come and it will be interesting to see what he, or another writer, has in store for us in the future.
Reviewed by Tim Janson