Lucifer: The Divine Comedy
Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly, Dean Ormston
Colorist: Daniel Vozzo
Now that Lucifer has his own universe, it turns out that everyone wants a piece of it. Most notably, the Basanos, the living deck of magical cards that created a prophecy for Lucifer briefly in Devil in the Gateway, want to strike out on their own... and they have the power to do it. The bulk of The Divine Comedy is the knock-em-down, drag-em-out fight between Lucifer and the Basanos. This is the best conflict in Lucifer so far: not only is there a genuine, warranted sense of peril in the battle, there's also something at stake for Lucifer that's far more interesting than his survival. The Basanos want to set themselves up as gods in the new universe, and that violates the only commandment that Lucifer has set for his new realm.
Prominently displayed on the back cover of The Divine Comedy is an image of Death, big sister of Dream of the Endless. I wondered if this was a gimmicky cameo to appeal to Sandman fans. And when Lucifer is dying, Death turns up to talk to him, and I was kinda thinking yes. But then... well... gimmick is far from it. I should have known that when Death turns up, she's for real. Man, what a killer moment.
Elsewhere, Elaine Belloc is getting up to her usual hijinks, which are enlivened by the introduction of the greatest comedy side character since Merv Pumpkinhead: Gaudium the Fallen Cherub. Hardly the most imposing of demons, the little guy talks big, but is unable to back it up, and talks tough, but turns out to be pretty nice: "God? Oh shit, yeah. We used to be big, big friends of his. Yeah, really big. This was when the firmament above and the firmament below hadn't been divided yet. In fact, now that I think back, it was me who gave him the idea for that." He's initially Elaine's bodyguard, but he eventually gets his own side story, a quest into the realm of a dangerous god... only neither he nor his sister are really prepared for what they have to do. Hilarious, even if does spin out of some rather dark events.
There's also a great sidestory about a centaur girl who tries to do the right thing by Lucifer and gets exactly what you'd expect for her troubles.
Lucifer is definitely firing on all cylinders on this point; now I need to find out what happens next. Like right away.