Comic: Lucifer (2000)

I am in love with Lucifer. It’s brilliant, engaging, and I devoured the whole run within twelve hours. Perhaps.

Lucifer’s struggles are, unalarmingly, my own, only magnified to cosmic scale. I have a problem with pride, and the asociality that comes with it. I can only bear few people, and they all must be as great as Maz. I have a bone to pick with intelligent design. Of all possible sins to suffer for, I would suffer for freedom. And, like Lucifer, I don’t care for things that don’t touch me.

But aside from its relevance, Lucifer delivers. Its writing and art styles call to mind that of the Sandman series. Fantastical stories —sometimes grotesque, sometimes beautiful— are interspersed with the stories of people up close. And what people they are: fallen cherubim who have it in them to be funny, loyal and useful; a lilim With A Heart Of Gold; a deck of cards who mimic the greed of men; a girl who is not just a girl; centaurs, the holy host, demons and the damned. A pair of brothers and their father.

And all of them have their own stories. Not all angels are nice, and not all demons can be said to be evil. They are, apparently, who they have all chosen to be.

They just don’t own it. The assumption and reality of intelligent design is the crux of the matter. Angels would differ but would also label all of their actions with the holy name. Demons would inflict pain and humans would bear it under the banner of Lucifer’s will. It’s funny, because Lucifer is a story of the making and unmaking of self. But only the Morningstar, bar some exceptions, recognizes it. 

[SPOILER]

What’s even funnier is that there is only one way Lucifer’s issue with will can be resolved. In some ways, the ending of the series was inevitable. 

And lastly: the other thing I love about Lucifer, I love too about the Sandman series. It builds its own mythos, and weaves from the pantheons of known and unknown gods. It makes for a very rich thinkpiece (and art feast). Also it makes me geek out. 

For example. The flaw of god is in his perfection. 

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“I begin here. Far down among the substanceless seeds of substance. It is hard to disentangle myself from their embrace. They do not want to let me go. I rise through the colonnades of reality. Every moment opening a new perspective. Every moment offering up a new hymn. Gloria in excelsis Deo. But in truth there are no heights. Pull back. Pull back. The worlds and realms are petals, floating in a rain-fed stream. Something unprecedented is just being born. And I want to see it. But it is the one thing I cannot see. The thing I break even by touching it. Randomness.”

I remembered Gaiman’s other works, American Gods and Neverwhere, when I read this panel — in a very roundabout way. Some things are powered by belief.

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“This is some animal’s idea of a god. It exists because it’s believed in.” “God is a prawn?”. “If you’re krill, he is. And of course, since krill have effectively no memory, these things are forming and melting away all the time.”

 

And then something about free will, which reminded me my favorite line in Gaiman and Pratchett’s Good Omens. INEFFABLE. 

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“You know— I still wonder how much of it was planned. How much of it he knew in advance. I thought I was rebelling. I thought I was defying his rule. No. I was merely fulfilling anothery tiny segment of his great and powerful plan.”

I think one of the best parts of the whole series is Lucifer’s angst. It’s very rich. 

“Why do they blame me for all their little failings? They use my name as if I spent my entire day sitting on their shoulders, forcing them to commit acts they would otherwise find repulsive. ‘The Devil made me do it.’ I have never made one of them do anything. Never.”

Lucifer appeals to me in the same way bad ideas appeal to anyone. Highly recommended. Be sure not to worship him. 

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“I will withhold death from you as long as you obey my one command. Bow down to no one. Worship no one, not even me. Do you understand?”

P.S. I was going through the internet and I saw read through a forum decisively concluding that Batman would win against Lucifer. I am sorry to burst your bubble. Lucifer can literally destroy worlds. At the very least I saw another forum concluding that Lucifer was smarter. Ish. Some people are persistent.

P.P.S. Then I went ahead and read Sandman again (because why not), and in the process I unearthed such gems. 

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“It’s like, that people… Well, that everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds… Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe. Isn’t that a weird thought?”

When you meta way too much (is this not me, thought). 

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“I wonder… I wonder if it was worth it. Whatever happened to me in my life, happened to me as a writer of plays. I’d fall in love, or fall in lust. And at the height of my passion, I would think, “So this is how it feels,” and I would tie it up in pretty words. I watched my life as if it were happening to someone else. My son died. And I was hurt; but I watched my hurt, and even relished it, a little, for now I could write a real death, a true loss.”

 

Del speaks a lot of the good stuff, I think. Dream is very himself.

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“Is there a word for forgetting the name of someone when you want to introduce them to someoen else at the same time you realize you’ve forgotten the name of the person you’re introducing to them as well?”
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“I lost some time once. It’s always in the last place you look for it.” “I do not want a grape.”

This has been a scheduled post. Yesterday, I had a thanksgiving lunch with my family.

I first read Lucifer sometime around April/May.

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