Review – Lucifer #5: The Ballad of Happy Jack

Lucifer #5 cover, via DC Comics.

Lucifer #5 – Dan Watters, Writer; Max Fiumara, Sebastian Fiumara, Artists; Dave McCaig, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 8/10

Lucifer has seen his millennia of chickens come home to roost in this grim series, as all his past sins haunt him in an elaborate and gruesome game of revenge. While Detective John Decker has been the focus of this series for most of the run, he’s in the background in Lucifer #5 as he battles with his supernatural brain tumor and struggles to survive long enough to uncover the truth of his wife’s death.

But this issue is all about Lucifer and his arch-nemesis Happy Jack. The opening segment reveals the origin of the con-man turned torturer – he’s the man who conned Lucifer out of his soul, thinking it ensured him a place in heaven. Instead he found himself unwanted in either kingdom and doomed to walk the empty void forever. Driven to insanity over endless years until he found his way back to Earth, he’s now turned the tables on Lucifer and has the former king of Hell on the brink of destruction.

Lucifer #5
Happy Jack’s con job. Via DC Comics.

This is a pretty grotesque issue in places, as Lucifer is taken apart and put back together. The difference is stark between the two Lucifers – the charming, sadistic King of Hell is a very different character from the broken old man who stars in this series.

But as obsessed with revenge as Happy Jack is, he’s not the big bad of this series. That would be Caliban, Lucifer’s wayward son with a twisted tie to Gately House. There’s a lot of mythology here, and not all of it is going to be a familiar read to people who aren’t familiar with the previous runs. But it works overall, as each of the three storylines work independently but supplements each other to create a fuller picture.

While Watters does a strong job on the script, it’s the Fiumaras who excel this issue with their disturbing depiction of Hell. The mythology of this series is strong, and I’m excited to see where Lucifer’s crucible takes him next.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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