Lovefool 12.19.11 | Devil May Care

An internet meme inspires Lovefool to take a look at a more sophisticated romance in the pages of Mike Carey’s Lucifer.



Honestly, I was pretty much locked into a topic this week thanks to a meme I saw making the rounds on Facebook during a medicated fugue this weekend. I know, I hear you out there. “Sick again, Lovefool? You write the weirdest columns on cold medicine.” True, true, nerdlings, but I find myself nostalgic for the old days of Vertigo, anyway, despite the interference of the Lucifer meme. Back when I started reading comics, Vertigo was still good and weird. It was where you found the things that you didn’t find anywhere else, and one of those things seemed to be relationships. Fables, Lucifer, Y the Last Man, even Sandman and Transmetropolitan—all of these filled Vertigo’s mission statement to be for the sophisticated comics reader. Even Vertigo’s adaptations and re-releases were well chosen: who can find fault with releasing Neil Gaiman’s Stardust illustrated by Charles Vess and sweet-talking Alan Moore into packaging V for Vendetta for major release? Karen Berger, Editrix in Chief and tastemaker extraordinaire during Vertigo’s heyday, had flawless taste.
Of course, I would never be so bold as to label myself as sophisticated because, frankly, I’m not. Sure, I have a copy of Kill Your Boyfriend like every other girlnerd does, but they practically hand it out when you join the club. I liked Vertigo books because they were beautiful and because they treated romance as something natural, even in extraordinary circumstances. Love happens, y’all. And the Vertigo books gave it a beautiful balance. Sure, there was stuff about magic and wars with demons and fairy tales wandering New York City and horrible plagues, but there was also romance of various sorts that wasn’t just jammed into a story to make us either appalled or instantly sympathetic. It bloomed. It was real and it changed its mind and it was impressive.
But we were talking about Lucifer, weren’t we? Lucifer Morningstar and his consort, the ruined Mazikeen. Lucifer, at the beginning of the Mike Carey-penned series, is looking a lot like David Bowie (thanks, Neil!) and running a piano bar in LA. He has his girlfriend—War Leader of the Lilim-In-Exile, the aforementioned Mazikeen—with him, and then everything gets a little awkward and she kind of sort of goes to war against him but not really and then there’s three different universes to contend with and they break up fairly messily and she ends up sleeping with someone both she and Lucifer used to work with. Throughout the series, Mazikeen cries over him, they snipe at each other brutally sometimes and, in one amusing case, Lucifer administers what would be fightin’ words in the Jameson household over Mazikeen’s attire.
In other words, she’s a girl who just happens to be a mangled creature from the beginning of time and he’s a bloke who retired from ruling Hell and is tricking God into setting up a cosmos where humanity gets to be what they are and they’re like any number of couples out there, only with more magic and the occasional oogy ritual. When he leaves, like people often do, he doesn’t just leave her with their favorite lamp, he leaves her with all of his eternal power and his title. She, naturally, swipes at him, very literally, and he still leaves her with pretty words and she maybe goes on to have a happy ending. Mazikeen is so formidable that the creature in charge of all existence doesn’t dare tamper with her ending enough to make it actually happy but gives her a bit of a shove. (Teenage girls, even if they are the most powerful being in Creation, can’t resist happy endings.)
Back in the day, as a budding Lovefool, I might have had the eensiest bit of a crush on Lucifer. He had a way with words and did, in fact, look a lot like David Bowie. (Like many girls my age, Bowie loomed large in my rampant imagination for a while after I got old enough to realize what those funny feelings I got when I watched Labyrinth were.) He never told a lie. He was clever, so clever, and said things that mere mortals wouldn’t dare to utter, wielding words like scalpels and I’ve always had a thing for a snarky man. Admittedly, he wasn’t a mere mortal and so imaginations could run wild. He looked great in a tux. If Mazikeen, creature of myth and swordplay that she was, couldn’t keep him, though, what chance would I stand? Not that, of course, that’s the first thing that I remembered when I saw that meme or anything. I thought of theology, of course, and men who are just trying to be true to themselves.
No, let’s not be silly. I thought of Lucifer and Mazikeen and her blade flashing out to bid him farewell. Can’t say I blame her, I would’ve been pissed, too. | Erin Jameson
Click here to read the first issue of Lucifer for free, courtesy of DC/Vertigo.

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