Lucifer: Children & Monsters
by Mike Carey, various artists
(DC/Vertigo, 2001)

The second book in Lucifer's saga takes him to Izanami, an eastern death goddess and an afterworld very different from his own. The Fallen One seeks to reclaim his wings, severed from his back when he relinquished Hell and now reposing in a dusty collection of symbols and icons. But there are challenges that must be faced and conquered before he gains his prize, and the gods of that place are not eager to see the treasured wings taken.

Meanwhile, Lucifer's lover, the half-faced demon Mazikeen, is left to guard his Los Angeles nightclub and, more importantly, the mystical gate to the Void that Lucifer has opened. The gate is a great power, and it draws the attention of infernal and blessed beings from many plains who wish to steal it. (British bad boy John Constantine even makes a brief cameo here, but only as an amused observer.)

There are several cameo and guest appearances of interest in this volume, including a tarot-ridden sorceress, an angry seraph, a young ward of dead witches, a murdered schoolgirl's ghost, a maker of half-angels and a former handmaiden to gods who has miscarried every morning for 4,000 years. (If you want to see rage and destruction unleashed, imagine the spirit of an unborn fetus that's been miscarried more than a million times.)

And the heavenly host goes to war.

Lucifer continues to be an intriguing, surprising addition to the Vertigo lineup. I will definitely enjoying seeing where this amoral protagonist leads us next.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 15 March 2003

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