So far Lucifer has been a tale of two characters — two very different beings — unravelling mysteries, and #3 is no exception. Firstly we have Lucifer growing despondent over his labors to discover where he is and what is happening. Initially morose, he is helped out of this mood by William Blake and a musing about the nature of mortals. This story is then split in two by the ongoing mysteries of Detective John Decker. This is a little more obvious but equally full of doubt and confusion. The issue ends with big reveals shedding light on some of the mysteries and giving us a better idea of what games are afoot. The final panel is a brilliant way to end this issue.
Previous issues have had strong Shakespearean references and themes so it’s interesting to see English poet William Blake play a big role. The use of Blake is great here, adding to the plot and to some of the philosophical musings of the story. While the end of Lucifer’s story sees the biggest questions and answers, the Decker sequence was possibly more satisfying. Although it was less mysterious the pacing, tone and direction of this sequence is brilliant. The questions about Decker’s tumor and the nature of Gately House are compelling and the use of Decker’s perspective leads to one of my favorite panels in this issue. There seems to be a real sense of progress here, with enough new information to make things feel like they’re progressing while keeping enough mystery and wonder to keep things interesting.
The artwork perfectly suits the creepy, sinister tones of this comic. Max and Sebastian Fiumara’s direction and perspectives in the Decker panels make for a great sequence and Dave McCaig’s somber and muted blue/green palette captures the mood while making it feel distinct from the rest of the book. The illustrations and the colors are a great match throughout, making for a book that’s gorgeous to look at while also fitting the tone. This culminates in that last panel which delivers a lot of impact while answering some big questions.
Books like Lucifer benefit a lot from distinctive lettering styles for different voices and Steve Wands’ does a great job in conveying that. Not only does it make it clearer who is speaking but the lettering and shape of the speech bubbles helps convey some of the essence of the characters. The book would lose a lot if it weren’t for the variety of fonts and bubbles that Wands uses.
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