Lucifer (comics)

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Doesn't he look like an asshole?

Note: This is about the comic by Mike Carey. For the character, see Satan.


"Lucifer Morningstar speaks for himself."

The only spin-off from The Sandman to not only manage long-term success but also become a critically acclaimed comic in its own right, Lucifer followed the life and times of the titular fallen angel after he gave up being the Lord of Hell to run a piano bar in Los Angeles. After accepting a commission from God to deal with something that threatens humanity, he finds himself the owner of his very own universe. There follows an epic adventure in which Lucifer fights to escape the control of his father, God, while dozens of other parties unveil their own macabre plans...

Lucifer himself is an arrogant sociopath with a dry wit, who - with a very few exceptions - cares only for himself and his mission and will kill or severely inconvenience anyone who is stupid enough to get in his way. Despite popular conceptions of the devil, he is a handsome, suave man who makes a point of never lying (instead, he tells the absolute truth and lets people hear what they want to hear) and always pays back what he owes. He has never tempted anyone into committing sins and indeed seems to find it slightly depressing when they live down to his expectations.

Along the way the comic picks up a recurring cast of about 12 other characters, including Jill Presto, a stage magician who makes a dangerous pact; Gaudium, a cigar-chomping former cherub; Elaine Belloc, an English schoolgirl with unusual powers, and Christopher Rudd, a damned soul who becomes the plaything of a cruel demoness.

Lucifer first appeared in The Sandman #4 (April, 1989). He appeared in several storylines of that title. Also receiving guest appearances in the Books of Magic, and titles featuring The Spectre, and Etrigan. He received his own mini-series The Sandman Presents: Lucifer (March-May, 1999) and then graduated to an ongoing series. Which lasted for 75 issues (June, 2000-August, 2006).

In early 2016, FOX began broadcasting a television series based on the comic.

Tropes used in Lucifer (comics) include:
  • Abomination Accusation Attack: In the first issue, a young woman gets angry with the protagonist when he doesn't stop her from touching some wet paint, explaining only afterwards that it's actually blood. In retaliation, she threaten to call the cops and claim that he's a paedophile who has kidnapped her.
    • To be fair, she was in fact kidnapped that night, his behavior is not exactly that of a rescuer, and since no one will give her a real explanation she has nothing to go on but the sadly most-common reason for a teenage girl to be kidnapped. Her threat is more bravado and defiance than pique.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Scoria to Mazikeen, and Spera to just about anything vaguely male.
  • Action Girl: Mazikeen.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Yahweh tries several on when talking to Elaine, not that she's all that comfortable with any of them.
  • Akashic Records: The artificer Scoria's pool where the thoughts of God flow and can be seen probably counts. Also the Aleph.
  • All Myths Are True
  • Exclusively Evil: Quite a few characters, notably Fenris and his Trickster companions Abonsam and Bet Jogie, are cruel, destructive and dishonest simply because it's what they are. Who expects embodiments of cruelty, destruction and dishonesty to be otherwise?
  • Ambiguous Gender: Innocence (the Child) of the Basanos, and its dragon Death of the Basanos. The Basanos as a whole however are referred to with male descriptors, such as brother or father.
  • Another Dimension
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Inverted: the demons of Hell aren't evil because they are aristocrats, they are pretending to be aristocrats because they are evil, and it's fashionable.
  • Artificial Limbs: Jill Presto's metal hand.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Elaine Belloc, deciding to run the universe from the inside out, rather than from the top down like the last god did.
  • Apocalypse How: They come in groups, escalating from Class Z to Z-2 to Z-3, ultimately threatening the existence of all creations.
  • The Atoner: Rudd's character arc has him starting out as this, and then going very strange places. Meleos gets this one twice over, the second time to make up for how he resolved the first.
  • Badass Bookworm: Meleos.
  • The Baroness: Mazikeen verges on this. As does her mother.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: All of the angels. They seem to also have a variable nudity taboo, not that it really matters anyway, since they're all (in effect) wearing flesh-colored superhero leotards. The implied reason for their lack of genitalia is the fact that, per the archangel Gabriel, the Angelic Host does not create, which presumably includes procreation. Half-angel Cal is also mentioned as being without genitalia. This prompts the question of why the angel Perdissa has breasts.
    • Perdissa has breasts, but like her male fellows she has no nipples. Angel anatomy is essentially decorative.
    • In the finale, Spera asks Mazikeen how Maz had sex with Lucifer despite his lack of genitals. Mazikeen leans in and whispers the answer. Spera is shocked speechless.
    • Lilith also managed to have sex with Ibriel and Sandalphon (and to conceive, because God made her supernaturally fertile)
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Lilim. More metaphorically, the angels, fallen and otherwise. Also a number of smaller Dysfunctional Family units, human and otherwise. In fact, not very many happy, functional ones.
  • Becoming the Mask: Cestis. She's not happy.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Titan Brothers.
  • Bishonen: Most of the angels, including Lucifer.
  • Bi the Way: Mazikeen and Beatrice. Also Lys: "A man, I think. I'm still in the mood for a man."
  • Bittersweet Ending Everyone pretty much gets a happy ending, except Lucifer, who can never have the one thing he truly wants so he disappears into oblivion. Whether he just separates himself from everything or destroyed himself is up to the reader.
  • Black Magic
  • Blessed with Suck: Briadach. Also, Jill, by choice (sort of), and Elaine, not by choice.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Just look at the picture.
  • Brains and Bondage: Lady Lys
  • Break the Haughty: Jill Presto. Lucifer takes a few knocks, too.
  • Brick Joke: During The Morningstar Option, Lucifer pays Pharamond 240 copper aes in a bag and offers to let him count them to ensure that the devil isn't lying to him. Pharamond declines stating he trusts Lucifer. Later, during The House Of Windowless Rooms, Pt. 1, Pharamond and John Constantine are talking in Lucifer's bar and as Pharamond leaves, Constantine advises him;

"...don't take any wooden aes."


Erishad: Every morning my body forgets all wounds, all hurts. And makes itself again exactly as it was when the gods first cursed me. I have had the same miscarriage every day for four thousand years.

  • Dark Action Girl: Mazikeen again, and also Zim'et.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lucifer, Gaudium and Spera. Occasionally, though, even Elaine, Mazikeen, Remiel and Amenadiel get in on the act.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Mona Doyle eventually becomes a Goddess. So does Elaine Belloc, but Elaine was never really human.
  • Destructive Romance: Lady Lys' spirit gets permanently broken by her mortal lover Cristopher Rudd. And you thought a romance between a demon and a human would be bad for the human?
  • Did Not Do the Research: British police officers with revolvers holstered on their belts.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: With the alignment flipped. Mazikeen, in the Silver City, surrounded by the assembled hosts of heaven. Passion is blasphemy, and she has a powerful need to blaspheme. So she kisses Beatrice, passionately, while giving the angels the finger.
    • Also Lilith who slapped Yahweh in the face!
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Saul of the Jin en Mok was distracted by a janitor in a diner and lost his train of thought. So he gave the kid a hypnotic coin that causes the possessor to stare at it a little more each day causing them increasing levels of pleasure and pain until eventually they wither up and die. Because that's just the kind of guy he is.
  • Distracted From Death: A sideplot in the third volume has an example. A pair of human friends (later lovers) run away from home and sneak into Lucifer's home in Los Angeles. Because it's not a natural place, they wind up wandering it for days without food or water. At one point, the guy wakes up, and without realizing that the girl has died, tells her to just rest, and he'll try to find help.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "You are the man and the woman. This is the garden."
  • Dream Spying
  • Earth Is Young: The first albums manage to avert this trope, in spite of being based creationism. And also in spite of the Lucifer comic being a spin-off from Sandman. This version of the setting make it unambiguous that biblical events took place billions of years ago. Later albums kinda throw the concept of linear/objective time out of the window, returning us to the postmodernism of Sandman.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Jin en Mok and the Silk Man. Okay, you watch them eat if you don't believe me.
    • The angels, demons and Yahweh himself seem more like this than their usual portrayals. They're just prettier.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Elaine Belloc, granddaughter and heir to the king of the very universe: Yahweh himself!
  • Evil Matriarch: Izanami and Lilith.
  • Exiled From Continuity: By virtue of being a spinoff of a Exiled From Continuity title.
    • More than they can't touch or make them interact with superheroes to cheapen them. Lucifer has had a few cameos.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Lucifer's hair changes from blonde to red as his character darkens. Although that might be a result of messed-up colouring and many different artists in the comics, seeing as his hair has run the gamut from white-blonde to straw-blonde to strawberry-red to true red to to orange to reddish-black. The hair curls that resemble horns don't remain consistent throughout the comic's run, either.
    • The change seems to be actual and physical, since after he gets his wings back from Izanami his hair goes strawberry-blond when he manifests them, but he goes back to the bleach-blond-with-dark-eyebrows look once he hides them again.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Given the characters are variously gods, goddesses, angels, demons and other time sinks, this tends to happen fairly regularly. Lucifer goes down back to Hell during the The Morningstar Option and has an expositionary, though one-sided, chat with Duma about the times before the creation of man; Meleos remembers creating the Basanos and Lucifer coming to pose for the Lightbringer card and Sandalphon reminisces about the War In Heaven and how he came to collect the Archangel Michael.
  • Fan Service Pack: Elaine, after becoming a god in Lucifer's realm (and maybe "growing up" in centuries as a spirit), and Mazikeen after the other half of her face is restored. And Lys. And Izanami, in her later appearance.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Justified; certain parts of Hell styled themselves after Renaissance Europe for fashion reasons.
  • Femme Fatale: Lys
  • Fetus Terrible: Erishad's baby, and also Eikon and Noema
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Lucifer has a tendency to this. It's usually but not always given some kind of plot reason. (But see also Barbie Doll Anatomy, above.)
  • Gambit Pileup: Happens a lot, not surprisingly, given the density of Manipulative Bastards.
  • Genius Bruiser: Just because Lucifer is primarily a Magnificent Bastard, doesn't mean he can't hold his own. In fact, his method of bruising involves using the same power that ignited all the stars in the universe.
  • Genius Loci: The Barrowjane.
  • God
  • God And Lucifer Are Both Jerks: In their own, morally grey way, but ultimately neither God or Lucifer have much regard for anything but themselves.
  • God Is Flawed: In this setting, all creators are very flawed. Lucifer himself neglects to construct a proper afterlife, Elaine tries and fails to keep her humans from killing each other in her name, and let's not even get started on Yahweh himself.
    • In all fairness, Lucifer neglecting to build an afterlife was more of a wilful design choice than him being incompetent. Your mileage may vary on how good a decision that was...
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: In "Morningstar".
  • Heart Trauma: The duel between Lucifer and Amenadiel in Effrul.
  • Heel Realization: A lot. Sometimes it helps (a bit), sometimes it really doesn't, and sometimes (Solomon) it's more of an Ignored Epiphany.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: One side character starts out as a Armored Closet Gay Neo-Nazi who beat an Indian man almost to death for flirting with him. The man gets disabled for life, but they end up as lovers anyway - once the first guy realized that Those Wacky Nazis wasn't such a good crowd to hang out with after all.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Lucifer, for all intents and purposes, his powers and abilities are beyond Superpower Lottery, but the series is not mainly about physical combat and certainly that's not Lucifer's prefered way to get what he wants, also it is made clear that in certain realms Lucifer has to abide to its law; so you won't get to see Lucifer going Darkseid and anihilating other Physical Gods with his might.
  • Honey Trap: Musubi, Cestis.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice (Sandalphon)
  • Inspector Javert: Solomon but he doesn't limit himself to just one target.
  • Intellectual Animal: Lord Arux's "pet", Prackspoor.
  • Informed Ability: The reader will spend more time running off to The Sandman and reading footnotes in Lucifer's own series about his Superpower Lottery and Story-Breaker Power stats than actually see them, or rather the vast majority, in action.
  • Journey to Find Oneself: In "All We Need of Hell".
  • Kick the Dog: Numerous occurrences. Often by Lucifer himself.
  • Knight Templar: Amenadiel. Also Perdissa, who crosses it with elements of Yandere. And Gabriel, in the backstory. And Remiel.
  • Like a Badass Out of Hell: Christopher Rudd ascends from being one of the damned to a member of hell's nobility, then a mystic sage preaching salvation in hell itself, to finally leading an army of the damned against Heaven.
  • Light Is Not Good: Besides his appearance, Lucifer also likes fire as a weapon, and literally, his name means "light wielder".
  • Little Miss Almighty: Elaine at the conclusion, having assumed God's mantle.
  • Look Ma, No Plane: Gaudium uses this technique to get from London to New York. To be fair, Gaudium's wings are shorter than his arms and his best flying speed in only a bit faster than a human can walk. So hitching a ride on a commercial jet is practical.
  • Luke, You Are My Father/Luke, I Am Your Father
  • Manipulative Bastard: As just above, but also the Basanos, Sandalphon, Berim, the Silk Man, and a number of other characters, including Briadach.
  • Melee a Trois: Between factions led by Lucifer, Lilith and Rudd, in Morningstar.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-universe example with Elaine's early attitude to Lucifer, according to her jealous fathers Michael and David.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jill, which can get kinda Squicky considering all the awful things she goes through.
  • Mister Seahorse: The archangel Michael is used as the (giant-sized) incubator for the "army of archangels" in the second book. It doesn't work out according to plan, however - it's stated that all the children born were mentally and/or physically impaired, and only Elaine Belloc was a successful attempt.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: The Bellocs to Elaine.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: One of the assassins sent to dispatch Lucifer in "Inferno".
    • Musubi of the Shiko-Me from The House of Windowless Rooms also qualifies.
  • Nice Guy: Michael. This serves him about as well as you'd expect in context.
  • Nigh Invulnerability
  • The Neidermeyer IN HELL!: Remiel.
  • Our Angels Are Different: A lot.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Gaudium and Spera.
  • Posthumous Character: Given that the afterlife in this series appears to have a revolving door, more than you'd think and livelier than you'd think.
  • Power of the Void
  • Psychopomp: Lucifer, self-announced as one during The House of Windowless Rooms arc.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: The title character's major motivation: To achieve something outside his Father's Divine Plan.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Poor Uriel. He's just trying to hold the Host together while Lucifer, Michael and Yahweh play out their grand drama. It's after he dies that they really start to fall apart. Notable for being polite to Mazikeen (a demon, remember) when she offers aid.
  • Retcon: Lucifer states in The Sandman that he lost none of his powers when he abdicated his leadership of Hell. In his own series, though, recovering his wings (and his full power) becomes an important plot point.
    • In The Sandman, it's also established that the Silver City "is not heaven" and "cannot be visited" and "is not part of the order of created things", yet in this series, it turns out that Lilith built it and you can get there by flying far enough.
      • Not necessarily retconned. The Silver City couldn't be visited by just about everyone as long Yahweh was there, but once he vacated the Throne, the rules changed. The angels' wings were special. Also, Lilith and the Garden were not part of the regular Creation. They weren't on Earth or a planet-like realm.
  • Satan: Subverts almost every traditional 'devil' concept.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell
  • Shout-Out: John Constantine is amongst the gathered parties come to the Lux to discuss the portal created by Lucifer. Gains extra points since Constantine was one of the DC Verse characters used in the early issues of The Sandman to connect it to DC's wider world and Mike Carey wrote a lot of Hellblazer.
  • Sibling Rivalry: The Lilim, and also Lucifer/Michael (though seeing the designated two most powerful creatures in being squabble like kids has a certain charm) and the host in general. Also, for comic relief version, Gaudium, Spera and Lumen.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Lucifer and Michael.
  • Silent Bob: Duma.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Lucifer pulls a memorable one to provoke Michael, who is additionally annoyed at the transparency of the ploy.
  • Smug Snake: Sandalphon, so very much. Also Amenadiel, literally and for a short while.
  • Stop Worshipping Me!: Lucifer in his version of Creation.
  • Sunnydale Syndrome: Played with and semi-subverted in terms of how far the more incidental humans (etc.) around the main cast seem to have any idea what's going on. After a while they just seem to sort of roll with it.
    • "Normal consciousness will be resumed."
  • Super Empowering
  • Superpower Lottery: To spare some space, just take the popular belief of God, and make it a bit less powerful, and in a fairly literal sense you have both Lucifer and Michael; however, given the series is not about Physical Gods going at each other throats Superman vs. Darkseid style, the reader rarely sees more than Lucifer boasting, exercising his infinite will and a certain degree of omnipotence and omniscience during the series' run. There are some glimpses of Lucifer's might; they're memorable. However, he prefers to rely on careful preparation and manipulation, not least because obliterating foes with infinitely-kindled primordial fire lacks a certain style.
    • Mind you, that "certain degree" of omniscience and omnipotence includes creating a new multiverse.
    • Also, he breaks an afterlife just by visiting it.
      • God's role in the story is defined by the fact that he is totally unassailable physically, instantly knows everything that's going on, and is several leagues above even Lucifer in raw intelligence.
  • Take a Third Option: Repeated plot point.
  • Taken for Granite: Izanami initially appears as a giant rock statue, though it seems her not speaking or moving much is by choice.
  • Tempting Fate: Quite a few characters, including the title character, get into this occasionally.
  • The Sociopath: Quite a few characters, including the title character.
  • To Hell and Back: Though, being the former Lord of Hell, this isn't anything unusual for Lucifer.
  • Totally Eighteen: Passionately averted with the female protagonist Elaine. At the beginning of the story she is twelve years old, and as she grow up her age is never mentioned again. She gradually and seamlessly transitions from childhood to becoming a Time Abyss.
  • The Unintelligible: Mazikeen. She got better when Jill healed her and forced symmetry on Mazikeen's original partially-skinless face, but she is not happy about it by any means.
  • The Un-Reveal: In "Eve", Spera asks Mazikeen how she and Lucifer had sex, given his Barbie Doll Anatomy. Mazikeen whispers in her ear, and Spera looks shocked, in a good way. That's it.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Poor Charlie, Erishad, Jill, and poor Mr. Easterman. Arguably repeatedly, too. Elaine and Michael may also count. And Lucifer himself, relative to God - though anyone would be relative to God. As the Almighty Himself points out, everything Lucifer knows he learned from his Father.
  • The Vamp: Lady Lys initially; Bet Jogie, who has the description "The woman who is both beautiful and terrible." In fact, she personifies the concept.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Quite a few, including one from Remiel that reminds you he's actually quite powerful, emotionally unbalanced Scrappy that he is.
  • Villain Protagonist: Lucifer, natch.
  • Villain Team-Up: In "Morningstar".
  • Villains Never Lie: Lucifer

"...when the devil wants to get something out of you, he doesn't lie at all. He tells you the exact, literal truth. And he lets you find your own way to hell."

  • Wicked Cultured: Lucifer, obviously, but also Lys, Sandalphon, Berim...
  • Windmill Crusader: We have the political faction "Efferul for Lucifer" that fights on the Morningstar's behalf. He is not amused, as their agenda is based on a very misguided vision of what he wants and needs.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Elaine Belloc.
  • Wishplosion: The velleity in "The Morningstar Option".
  • The Worf Effect: If Mazikeen is getting the crap kicked out of her, it's time to panic. Unfortunately, Mazikeen is always getting the crap kicked out of her.
    • You mean before she recovers and kicks the crap out of them.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: Several, not surprisingly given the power levels of some of the characters.
  • The World Tree: Yggdrasil, in "The Wolf Beneath the Tree".
  • Would Be Rude to Say Genocide: In Mansions of the Silence, Lucifer annihilates billions of souls as a side effect of saving the life of one single person. (That one person was someone he owed a favor, his billions of victims were not.) Of all the people who witness this tragedy, only Bergelmir says anything about this action being immoral, and even he is quite polite about it. Even so, everyone else simply ignore him as they would a person who's being generally rude, impolite and socially inappropriate.
    • Elsewhere in the series it is mentioned that it's impossible to destroy a soul; one can only unravel it so that it will take a millennia to reform. Considering that the Mansions of the Silence are in some ways worse than Hell, Lucifer's actions don't come off quite as bad.
    • Also, who in their right mind would start lecturing at Lucifer, under the circumstances?
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Lucifer's universe runs much faster than God's, something that plays into the plot several times. The difference in the passage of time seems to change from story to story, however.