Lucifer has officially entered its second story arc and it is quite unlikely that anyone expected such a major departure from the first one. This comic marks a very brave move by Holly Black as the established characters are thrown to the side in favour of some entirely new faces. Did it work?
The first thing to say is not to panic, it is clear that this issue will tie back into the main story next time and you will be getting your fix of Lucifer soon enough. For now though, you get to see into the lives of Rosemary and Takehiko.
So who are they? Well Rosemary is a seemingly quite ordinary American college girl who is taking her boyfriend, Takehiko, home to meet the folks. That’s a time that would usually be fraught with anxiety but luckily her family belongs to a Satanist church and are remarkably laid back about all things having to do with the pleasures of the flesh. Takehiko, for his part, comes across as a rather awkward though affable young man who is suitably nervous about meeting the parents. All of that gets flipped on its head in the final act of the book but there will be no such spoilers here, even though that leaves so little to write about.
The danger in switching the cast so markedly for an entire issue is that fans won’t care to read about their lives and will instead simply wait for the next issue when their favourites return to the page. In order to stop that from happening you need to create an immediate sense of intrigue in your audience. Holly Black didn’t actually manage to do that as the characters initially come across as quite dull and lifeless. Neither of them gives much hope for this being a fun instalment and they certainly don’t jump off the page as hot new protagonists. In fact, it isn’t until the last act that either of them becomes the least bit interesting and by then it is too late to reel in anybody.
There are little moments that will keep fans of this series engaged as the book crawls along but those who aren’t fully invested will likely be turned off by the story on offer here. Thankfully something else is present to keep them flicking the pages… the art.
It is something of a theme in these reviews to praise most current artists but it so richly deserved this time around. Stephanie Hans is the guest this time out and she brings with her an amazing ethereal quality that suits the insipid tone of this piece so brilliantly well. Every scene has a mix of awe inspiring beauty and creepy foreboding, making for a read that sets your skin acrawl. Here is an example from the opening of the comic, undoubtedly you too will find its beauty quite apparent.
So yes, this was not a sterling outing for Black as she put forth a middle of the road story that suffered greatly from having none of the characters you’ve come to know and love. That being said the ending does set up something potentially massive for the rest of this arc and everyone should look forwards to seeing it.
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