Comic Review – Lucifer #3

  • Writer: Holly Black
  • Artist: Lee Garbett
  • Colorist: Antonio Fabela
  • Letterer: Todd Klein
  • Publisher: Vertigo Comics
  • Release Date: February 17, 2016

Lucifer #3 hurt my soul in a good way.

Last month, Holly Black and Lee Garbett took us to hell with Lucifer #2 and we were able to see what became of Hell under Mazikeen’s rulership. At the same time, we also had a plot on Earth that revolved around Teena Hornick who takes the initiative when it comes to murder and mayhem after she finds a ridiculously helpful jar of demons in her dead parents’ closet.

We enter the Dreaming this issue and honestly, It’s good to be back. The last time I saw Dream’s demesne, it might have been partway through the original run of Lucifer back in the day. It’s still one of my favorite places in the DC/Vertigo universe due to how much possibility exists in the realm of dreams.

LUCIFER #3 Cover by Dave Johnson

This issue, Lucifer and Gabriel head to the Dreaming in search of further clues as to who or what killed their father. They run into a couple of familiar figures, Eve and a crow that may or may not be Matthew as well as Mazikeen’s mother Lilith, but they don’t meet Dream himself. (Something I’m holding out for though.)

What I really enjoyed about this part of the issue, was that Holly Black clearly has a good grasp of Lucifer’s character. The comic is a bit heavy on the narration boxes in some parts, but it works for Lucifer who has always come across as a character who needs to think through the different possibilities before he picks the one that boosts him above everyone else.

I think my favorite thing about Lucifer #3 was Lilith’s tale about Azazel. It put me in mind of the story that Milo Manara did about Desire a few years back in that collection about the Endless. It was super vivid with regard to the art direction and it stuck with me long after other parts kind of faded.

I also have intense thoughts about Azazel, vengeance, and excess (especially when it comes to sin) and I loved that I was able to make a connection not only between this issue and other Vertigo Comics, but between things I’m learning in grad school.

You know… Because I’m a nerd.

It’s seriously one of the best things in Lucifer #3 and that’s saying something considering that it’s an across the board awesome issue.

The parts of the issue that were set in the past or in the Dreaming were wonderful. The parts set on Earth? Those are the parts that hurt my soul for real. One of the major subplots in this new Lucifer series is that Teena character and her penchant for murder. This month though, we’re introduced to a new player: Medjine Parker, a young girl from Haiti who was adopted by the sanctimonious Parkers and separated from everything she holds dear.

Including her brother.

The Parkers are emotionally and mentally abusive and it is so difficult to see on the page. They don’t treat her the way that they do their own kids and in fact, the parents actually start to sexualize her. (Seriously, the mom is like “she’s practically a woman already” in one text bubble and I was beyond ready to fling myself into the story and fight a fictional character.) The family treats her more like a servant than a daughter and even the other children react similarly.

Medjine’s path collides abruptly with Teena Hornick after Medjine’s foster mom sends her and several of her “siblings” out for a nice afternoon of proselytizing. After several people shut them down, Teena welcomes them with a wide smile and proceeds to be thoroughly creepy and awful.

I’m not spoiling things beyond that because it’s such a big deal, but let’s just say that if Medjine ever decides to crack open that jar of demons and unleash hell the family that has been mistreating her (or even just to you know… kill them), I wouldn’t actually blame her because I was entertaining angry thoughts as I watched the Parkers be terrible people because no kid should be made to feel unwanted. Not even a fictional one.

Lucifer #3 was fantastic. It hurt to read in some parts, but in a good way. I’m still definitely a fan of the Garbett/Black creative team and I’m looking forward to seeing where they go from here. Next month, I have a feeling that things are going to get worse before they get any better for Lucifer and Medjine and honestly, I’m okay with that.

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About the author

Zina Hutton

writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories.

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