Lucifer #9 – Dan Watters, Writer; Kelley Jones, Artist; Chris O’Halloran, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: It’s a major divergence from the main story of this title in Lucifer #9, complete with a very distinct guest artist in the form of Kelley Jones. Best known for his instantly recognizable Batman work, Jones is one of the best horror artists in the industry – so it’s no surprise that this issue plays to his strengths with a deeply disturbing tale.
None of the major players appear in this issue besides Caliban, with only a cameo by Lucifer, but the story focuses on a disgusting individual named Lord Fowler. The owner of a palatial Victorian estate where he hunts increasingly rare game (and, it’s implied, his “missing” wife), he’s managed to capture a low-level demon that’s escaped Hell and seems to be traumatized enough that it can only say Lucifer’s name. He’s determined to get information out of it before he hunts it – and he gets some help in this mission from the mysterious Caliban, who he promptly traps in his basement and threatens to hunt if he doesn’t get what he wants.
Obviously, a title focusing on Satan will play some games with who the true source of evil is, but this is probably my favorite issue of the series in how it cleverly makes the demons the least evil people in the story.
The back half of the issue is a twisted, often nauseating tale as Caliban serves Fowler a disturbing meal made of the demon to illustrate the demon’s story – with horrific consequences for Fowler’s body and sanity. If you’re not into hard-boiled horror, this may be a little too much for some people. I found it to be one of the most brilliantly creepy issues I’ve read in a long time, with an excellent sense of tension building towards a truly disturbing last page reveal.
Even with Lucifer only appearing in this issue in a cameo, it feels like it expands the story by giving us more information on Caliban’s motivation – just in time for his plot against Lucifer to bear fruit in upcoming issues.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.