Lucifer No. 4: The peculiar case of the man on the bathroom floor


Lucifer finally comes clean with some answers.

If you’ve been following along with Lucifer, one of four new releases set in the Sandman universe from Vertigo Comics, then you know that things are complicated. Books of Magic, House of Whispersand The Dreaming have been fairly straightforward, coughing up the answers to their respective riddles with relative ease. Lucifer, however, has been something of a puzzle; Lucifer seems to be trapped in his own mind, or someone else’s? Who is Robert Ewell? What’s the deal with Sycorax’s bones?

Writer Dan Watters, brother artists Sebastian and Max Fiumara, colorist Dave McCaig and letterer Steve Wands have spun these quandaries into a dark, majestic look at the struggles one man and one angel are going through, on their paths to further enlightenment.

Vertigo Comics

Lucifer finally explains Penny and Robert Ewell

Last issue, John Decker was seeing demons in Gately House, and Lucifer was resurrecting Sycorax, the mother of Caliban. This issue starts of with Sycorax, or perhaps more appropriately, her own idea of herself, trying to reach someone outside of the realm she currently inhabits, which is maybe Lucifer’s mind.

Decker is having blackouts from the tumor in his brain, and he heads to the local police station to dig up info his dead wife’s cousin, Robert Ewell. He learns that Ewell was arrested several times for burglary, all at places with magical names. He has a seizure on the bathroom floor of the cop shop and narrowly evades being arrested himself, for the car crash that killed his wife in the first issue.

Sycorax encounters the child and the crone witch, who beg forgiveness for forgetting who Sycorax was, in the strange place they all inhabit. Decker buys a gun and tries to interrogate Robert for answers, but seizes again, and when he awakes Robert is holding the gun.

Vertigo Comics

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No, really, Lucifer explains the Ewells

As the two witches of the Coven of Sycorax relate a tale of past woes, Robert Ewell also tells the same story, giving us a lovely couple of pages of intermingled remembrances, with vastly different points of view. Ewell had been a magician, stealing magic from where he could find it, and he stumbled upon Gately House, which had recently become the home of the Coven. He was caught and tortured for three and a half days by Lucifer, when his cousin Penny, John Decker’s dead wife, showed up looking for him. Sensing that she had more magic in her blood than Robert, Lucifer offered her a deal: join the Coven of Sycorax, a slave to dark magic, or walk away, and let Robert suffer for much longer. Penny accepts Lucifer’s deal, but then, while on the phone with John, whom she had just met, reneged on the bargain and left Robert to make his own way with angry witches and Lucifer. Penny is the lost witch of the Coven of Sycorax.

Robert has been trapped there ever since, servant to witches, until Stingy Jack, some malevolent demon or ghost or something, make Robert an offer of revenge. In the weird place, Sycorax needs to find Lucifer so that she can be freed from this strange prison, and it is revealed that the place is Sycorax’s mind, or “mindscape”, being re-formed by Lucifer and Caliban.

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In the mindscape, Stingy Jack cuts off Lucifer’s tongue, in preparation to make this trapped version of Lucifer forget everything that has been revealed. This was without a doubt the most illuminating and informative issue yet, and you should really go lay your eyes on it. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.