16 March 2012

Faster than a DC Bullet: Lucifer, Part X: Crux

Comic trade paperback, 167 pages
Published 2006 (contents: 2004-05)
Borrowed from the library
Read February 2012
Lucifer: Crux

Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly, Marc Hempel, Ronald Wimberly
Colorist: Daniel Vozzo
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher

Though I have enjoyed Lucifer on the whole, its major plot strands sometimes became less than interesting-- and even when they might have been okay on their own, they got dragged out far too long.  Crux is a good example of this, at exactly the wrong time.  The previous volume, The Wolf Beneath the Tree, introduced the threat of Fenris; by the end of Crux, Fenris's threat still hasn't been resolved, and a snarling wolf-god who wants to unmake the universe when its death is already imminent for not-very-well-explicated reasons isn't interesting enough to be the major threat for this much of the story.  Nor was I particularly interested in the people hanging out with Lilith who wanted to do much the same for only-slightly-better-defined reasons.

However, there was some great stuff in Crux regardless.  "The Eighth Sin" takes us to Hell, where we see that Christopher Rudd, the damned man liberated from his torment, has become a messianic figure, preaching a message that neither damned nor demon needs to be subject to the torments of Hell, pointing out that it is unjust for God to keep them down there (little does he know that God absconded from the universe three books ago). (An appearance from Gaudium, the cigar-chomping-ex-cherub-with-a-heart-of-gold-but-not-much-competence doesn't go amiss, either.)

The best part of the book was of course "The Yahweh Dance"; Lucifer is at its most interesting when discussing the problems of being a deity, and "The Yahweh Dance" is no exception.  The archangel Michael has passed his demiurgic power onto Elaine Belloc, his half-human daughter, and she is struggling to maintain some kind of control over it-- and in doing so, accidentally creates a universe.  How do you balance wanting to protect people from harm with wanting to let people make their own decisions when you have omnipotence?  It turns out to be harder than you'd think.  In glimpses of another universe, this story plays out some of the fascinating ideas that keep me coming back to Lucifer every time.

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