lucean: (Default)
[personal profile] lucean posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Greetings one and all

Since it has been ages I've done a post here, I apologize in advance for any breaches. The scans here are from three 22 page issues, seven pages per issue, and they comprise the first story arc of Lucifer: A Six Card Spread.

Slightly over a decade ago there was a fantastic comic book series called Lucifer, a spin-off from Sandman where Lucifer had quit as the ruler of Hell. It was written by Mike Carey, was 75 issues long and utterly awesome. Especially when read as a whole, as you can see several allusions to the end already in the beginning. I was reminded of this series a short while ago as I again saw reminder about the Lucifer TV series they are making. I am not commenting anything more on that as my mind is still processing the concept. So, after a discussion with another poster about doing scans of this comic, I present to you the glory that is the first story arc of Lucifer. And yeah, I don't know why I had to do that intro either.

And by the way, before the cut, there are so many trigger warning for this story

First some prewords on the matter. Lucifer as a comic was extremely condensed, so trimming these issues to one third requires some explaining. So in my scans I am focusing most on the character Lucifer itself, as the series was a fascinating character study on him while doing an extremely fascinating study on faith and what it means, among other things, over the series itself. Especially, Lucifer, is kept constantly very distant, with the story usually told through the eyes of characters. The story also never tries to make Lucifer in to an anti-hero, and while his motivation truly revealed in the very last issue is beautfiul in how undertandable it is, the story never glorifies Lucifer, constantyl reminding that beneath the surface he is a horrifying monster while still being a typical in that role. It is difficult to explain here, but you will see as the series progresses.

And, a slight warning. Lucifer is both thematically and graphically brutal at times.

We being wih scans from the first official arc in the series, Six Card Spread, but it was preceded by a miniseries where Lucifer does a favor to the Celestial Host and as a reward receives a letter which will open a doorway to anywhere Lucifer chooses. This item is at the heart of the first third of the series.

The series begins with a visit to Hell, now reigned over by two angels given the task of keeping Hell running. This was actually a storyline from Sandman. They are being visited by Suzano, a god from the Japanese mythology, who is extremely polite and complimentary of the work the two have done running Hell, even asking if they have soliciated advise from its former ruler, which they of course have not. He is also impressed how open it is, commenting that his mother realm is much more compact, to which the answer is of course no, but that is a remnant of Lucifer's reign as he was obsessed with freedom. So why is Suzano visiing them? To buy Lucifer's wings, which he severed and left behind when he left Hell. The angel is not enthusiastic about letting them go, but their task of repentance takes priority. And trust me, this version of Hell turns out to be really messed up in an awesome way.

Anyhow, at this point we shift to Lucifer who is sitting at a veranda, pondering upon his reward from the Heaven. As his companion, Mazikeen, who will be a central character in the series, asks him what weights upon him, he comments that he is close to the endgame, but he doesn't trust any gifts from God, who he refers to in less flattering tone, and thus intends to seek out an old comrade in order to receive some guiding.

And with that we finally usher in to our main story taking place in Hamburg, Germany, which follows actually three storylines which will entwine together, but I will here focus on only one. The other two focus on:

- A tragic story of two men, Jayesh, who is a child of an immigrant family owning a store, an avid reader and as gay as they come, being utterly in love with Karl, who works at the book store. Karl, in turn, is a hanger-on for a neo nazi gang and uncertain of his own feelings.

- A magician's assistant Jill Presto, who lives above the store mentioned above and works at a local variety club hoping for a change to have her own show, but not given such a change by the owner of the club who is having inappropriate relationships with some of his employees.

Our scans, however, focus on the owner of the book store, a Mr. Weiss, or Meleos, who is feeling quite disturbed and haunted by phantasms who warn him that Lucifer is coming for him, to seek out the truth. Meleos asserts that he is not afraid of Lucifer (Because he is not an idiot), to which the visions respond by pointing out that he is afraid of them since he does not let them free to go out and play. At this point, let us switch to actual scans, where we have just seen Lucifer in the city, solicited by a street prostitiute.

At this point we see Karl, the bookshop helper, stand watch as the neonazi gang beat an immigrant to pretty much death while yelling insults at him, feeling conflicted. A feeling called in to question by the leader of the group who has noticed that Karl kind of likes standing watch instead of doing the hard work of beating helpless people to death, and has him recite the enemies, the worst of course being the gays. Jill Presto, in turn, is at work helping a second-rate magician do a show at a dive club.

Lucifer, instead, is feeling a little bit hesitant, something is off and decides to do an indignified divination on the guts of a pigeon. So, I might have already mentioned that Meleos, while thinking on his vast wisdom, does really, really stupid things.

Well, that went well, Meleos.

The next issue sees our cards fly free over the sky of Hamburg.

Our wannabe Neo-Nazi Karl is getting a masculine tattoo of a fist and mighty message, unfortunately his money doesn't cover fancy stuff as local anaesthetic, and Karl doesn't seem to have the fortitude to deal with the pain, stopping the tattoo from being completed. Yet as he leaves, he is enticed by the Emperor card telling him of his potential, of the leader of men he can be, if he only is decisive, if he only is magnificent. What are the other Basalos cards doing, you ask? What is their fun?

Lucifer has Mazikeen bleed on leaves that also has his blood and scatters them to wind. According to him the cards are smart enough to avoid him, but their sight is too accurate. By spreading their essence across the city, the cards cannot truly pinpoint him. First, Lucifer will visit Meleos to make his... displeasure known, then they will hunt.

While this is going on, Jill Presto has a confrontation with the owner of the club and quits/is fired while Jayesh sees Karl at his parents shop and finally asks Karl out. After a moment Karl accepts, but warns that they have to meet at the back alley since his friends won't understand. If it isn't already clear, it will not end well.

At this moment you may be asking, what about our grand intellect himself, Meleos? You are in luck.

Seriously, Meleos, what kind of an idiot tries to cross Lucifer?

Anyhow, Karl meets with Jayesh and brings with him the gang, brutality which I will not describe here ensues, ending with Karl doing horrendeous damage on Jayesh. At the same time, Innocence of the Basalos walks the streets of Hamburg, seeking something, until she finds Jill Presto and makes an offer to her. To become their vessel and protection against Lucifer, which she ends up accepting without even realizing it or it wasn't an offer so much. The Basalor are kind of horrible, if it wasn't clear already.

First some thoughts from our main man himself:

The Basalos enter Jill to close this issue.

As Jill pushes in the club where he worked, taking her place next to the magician she once helped, we find out that she comes from a troubled home, after her father, a former illusionists himself, killed himself when she was kid and her mother harboring a great of bitterness for it. Lucifer, on the other hand, follows the trail to the very same club, where a well-meaning receptionist tries to prevent him from entering the room where the performance is already going on.

As said, never for one instance think Lucifer has a shred of decency as he simply does not care.

Karl and his gang are watching the performance, but finally shrugging off the influence of the Emperor card, Karl realizes what he had done and rushes out to call help for Jayesh. Jill ends up taking over the performance, the Basalos allowing her to perform real magic and view the paths of the all the people there, including the Neo-Nazis and what they did to Jayesh. This invokes a reaction from her.

Karl reaches Jayesh, and tries to help him while the ambulance is coming. Unfortunately, crazed Meleos is also there, grasping him by the throat and lamenting on how he had lost everything, how had dedicated himself to recording the humans, and also making it clear to Karl that what was driving him was not what he hated in Jayesh, but he loved in him, then disappears and leaves Karl and Jayesh both behind after commenting how both atonement and vengeance are at best journeys of undefined length and how they both have embraced their destruction.

If it is not clear, this is not the last time we see Meleos, who did not take Lucifer's actions well. Don't worry, though, he didn't become smarter over time.

While at the club, the cards try to create a diversion for Jill to escape, but it is not really succesful, with Lucifer having Mazikeen throw a knife through the card Lightbringer, which we saw earlier. This stops Jill quite brutally.

Having gotten what he needed, Lucifer leaves, completely uncaring of the warning of the cards. You might not have noticed, but Lucifer is slightly arrogant.

The Basalos at this time make their offer again to Jill, allow them to stay within her and they will give her the power to become famous, to become great. Remembering her father, Jill accepts their offer. At the mean time, at the hospital, Jayesh's parent thank Karl for saving their son while Karl struggles with his guilt and the doctor explains how Jayesh might have brain damage. Unknown to all of them, Jill visits Jayesh before she departs the city.

So our story ends for now as the first set of dice have been thrown.

Date: 2015-05-04 01:46 am (UTC)
beyondthefringe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] beyondthefringe
It strikes me that in this series, we can actually see an earlier version of Marvel's Loki: an amoral trickster figure, often considered evil, who does everything in his power to escape the destiny, fate, and roles into which he's been locked for so many centuries.

Lucifer is a very bad person, yes, but straight-forward and clear-dealing in his own way: cross him at your own peril, but he's not likely to stab you in the back unless it's the only way to get what he wants. His eternal enemy is unseen and all-powerful, but not inescapable... while the obstacles are many and dangerous. Compare this to Loki, who dies to escape his fate, is reborn, is betrayed by his own nature, and who is locked into a role he no longer desires. And in both cases, one can argue that Lucifer and Loki are fighting the power of the readers themselves, and defying expectations and tradition in the process.

Lucifer really was a fascinating series because while the titular character was a protagonist, it wasn't always about him, and he was never a truly sympathetic protagonist at that.

I truly do wince at the thought of this series being turned into yet another procedural for TV.

Date: 2015-05-04 02:14 am (UTC)
sagrada: Clan sigil of Rahab (Default)
From: [personal profile] sagrada
Loki as we know him was very much influenced by Christian theology, and being written by mostly people descended from European Christians has compounded that. I don't think hardly anything of the 'real' Loki has survived, unless he was always just That Darn Trickster who ruins everything and kills the one being beloved by all creation. It's ironic, since there's already Surtur of Muspelheim, who is all fiery and wants to kill the gods.

Date: 2015-05-04 02:27 am (UTC)
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
From: [personal profile] alicemacher
Thanks for getting the Lucifer ball rolling, [personal profile] lucean!

I wish Chris Weston had been able to stay on as artist beyond this arc. Peter Gross's pencils and Ryan Kelly's inks are fine, but not as consistent in quality as Weston's. They did however start and end on a strong note.

Story-wise, I think this opening arc is a better one than Carey gives himself credit for. He's said subsequently that he feels he was trying here to make it like Sandman, but I don't see it. If there's a shortcoming with "A Six-Card Spread," it's that Carey overdoes the narration a bit. He scales back on that beginning in the next major arc, "The House of Windowless Rooms."
Edited Date: 2015-05-04 02:37 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-04 03:24 am (UTC)
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
From: [personal profile] alicemacher
I think that'd be best, yeah. In the meantime, I'll do "House of Windowless Rooms."

Mod Note!

Date: 2015-05-04 02:32 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: Mod Squad icon (Mod Squad)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Welcome back to the world of posting.

We would ask that, rather than simply say there are trigger warning issues below the cut, you please use the tags to indicate which ones, for the benefit of all community members.

Date: 2015-05-04 05:21 pm (UTC)
leoboiko: manga-style picture of a female-identified person with long hair, face not drawn, putting on a Japanese fox-spirit max (Default)
From: [personal profile] leoboiko
The next issue sees our cards fly free over the sky of Hamburg.

Who're you gonna call?…


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