Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lucifer: Vol 5: Inferno (2004)

Author: Mike Carey | Illustrators: Peter Gross / Ryan Kelly / Dean Ormston / Craig Hamilton | Page Count: 166

It was an irony very much to his taste, that he could no longer live without her.”

Book 5 of 11 in the Lucifer series.  The four-part storyline that opens this volume closes a deal made in Vol 2: Children and Monsters (2001); Lucifer and Amanadiel meet at the arranged place and time to resolve their differences.  Some secondary characters find the event fortuitous, believing it the perfect opportunity to gain favour with one side or the other.  It gives writer Mike Carey a chance to further develop threads from previous books and once more stress that Lucifer can rely just as well on his wits as on his powers; for power is useless without the knowledge of when to best use it.

A large part of Inferno feels like an interlude—a  time of rest and recuperation before Lucifer can fulfil the promise he made himself in the previous book.  Before he can set that in motion he must seek out something specific, but to secure it he has to offer yet another promise that'll likely bring him trouble further down the line.  It’s business as usual for the fallen angel.

Carey’s multifaceted narratives work best when they have a large cast to entwine themselves in; this volume is lessened by those deep interrelations being removed as everyone is separated by duty.  The closings, the side-events and the setting up of a new arc are all dependent on your enjoyment of the previous books, and as such this feels disjointed and stitched together haphazardly.  The stories are strong in characterisation but structurally messy when collected together in a trade; the format highlights its own artificial nature.  In single issues they’d have worked much better.

One of the stand-alone works is a story of joy, dependent upon someone going to someplace dark within himself.  It was quite beautiful.

The book collects together Lucifer issues 29 – 35

3½ rules bent out of 5

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