CAREY, MIKE & GROSS, PETER – NEUTRAL GROUND in – LUCIFER #8 THE WOLF BENEATH THE TREE 2005 DC - After the dawn of Humanity and falloff Lucifer opening story, Lilith, the second tale in this deliciously dark collection is set in the late 20th century. A young man, John Sewell, is seen falling to his death from high up a skyscraper. The story now goes into flashback to explore how he came to be in such a predicament. John was working as an accountant to an unscrupulous businessman. John had noticed irregularities in the accounts and had tried to ask questions about it, to which he was told that he was seriously putting his own job on the line. John was also a singer in a Gothic punk rock band, but not a very good one. Jeered off the stage at a gig by a hostile audience, John is blamed when the gig owner refuses to let them have their amps back until the damages to the club itself are paid for. Just as all looks lost and you might expect him to want to commit suicide, John is possessed by Lucifer himself. Lucifer makes John use a credit card to go out and party. Lucifer gets John into a poker game in a brothel, which John wins. Lucifer now dumps John while he sorts out bickering factions among the demons of Hell. By the time he returns, John has been arrested for being drunk in the red light district. Lucifer breaks him out of prison, and makes him murder the evil boss who was cooking the books. He now leads John home where his girlfriend is in bed, quite plainly having an affair with a member of John’s band. John is given the freedom to choose whether to kill the girl, but he chooses to kill himself instead. Lucifer seems unconcerned. The suicidal sacrifice itself gains him another soul for his collection.
A strange story that shows Lucifer as a manipulator and a man of few scruples. His use of John as a means to an end goes against the spirit of the noble fallen hero of the other stories in the collection. This is Lucifer in pure Mephistophelian mode. A disappointment in an otherwise fine collection. http://www.dccomics.com/
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