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Comic Book / Lucifer

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"Perhaps this is the ultimate freedom, eh, Dream Lord? The freedom to leave..."

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 eponymous 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, or perhaps playing them quite straight, he is a handsome, suave figure who makes a point of never lying (not that it means much) 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 also had guest appearances in The Books of Magic and in 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). Both the mini and the ongoing were written by Mike Carey. A variety of illustrators worked on the titles, but the most important were Peter Gross and Ryan Kelly.


A sequel to the comic book series (written by Holly Black) was released on December 2015, starring the eponymous character and his brother, Gabriel.

Lucifer got a series on FOX in 2016, with Tom Ellis playing the character. Like the comics, it focuses on him as he decides to leave the literal Hell for Los Angeles, aka Hell on Earth. There, he runs a very popular nightclub while also doing "favors" for various people. When a singer with a promising career he helped start is gunned down in front of him, he finds himself with an urge for punishing sinners once again, and he strikes up an unusual partnership with a local homicide detective.

Another version of the character, this one portrayed by Gwendoline Christie, will appear in Netflix's live-action adaptation of The Sandman.

Lucifer provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Scoria to Mazikeen, and Spera to just about anything vaguely male. Also, Jill's stalker.
  • 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 threatens to call the cops and claim that he's a pedophile who has kidnapped her.
  • Absurdly Long Stairway: The angel Meleos keeps a copy of every written work humankind has ever produced. The archives are in an "underground tower more than a mile high," concealed beneath the Hamburg bookshop he manages. At the very bottom he keeps his own creation, a living tarot deck, which has become corrupt and extremely dangerous, such that when he tries to destroy the cards, they overpower him and escape. Too weak after the battle to manifest his wings, he must climb the staircase by foot.
  • Abusive Parents: Lilith takes this to the extreme. A case can also be made for Yahweh.
  • Action Girl: Mazikeen is a formidable demonic fighter in the form of a woman.
  • Affably Evil: Lord Arux is a demon and owns the largest production plant of Pain in Hell, extracting the pain of the damned for the demons' pleasure. He is also generally tolerant, polite and a voice of reason, and is on general good terms with Lucifer.
  • 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: The series features countless gods and mythical figures, and never suggests that any myth is untrue — though there are hints that this is "for a certain value of true".
  • Always Chaotic 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, are explicitly referred to in the text as female and male, respectively. The Basanos as a whole however are referred to with male descriptors, such as brother or father.
  • Ambiguously Brown: "The woman and the man," the first two lifeforms Lucifer creates in his universe. Justified in that they're only loosely "human" and are not meant to correspond to any Earthly race or nationality.
  • Another Dimension: The characters run into several along the way (sometimes literally).
  • Apocalypse How: They come in groups, escalating from Class Z to Z-2 to Z-3, ultimately threatening the existence of all creations.
  • Arc Words: Some variety of "Normal service has resumed" or "Normal service will resume" appears once per arc.
  • 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.
  • 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. And then there's Karl.
  • Badass Bookworm: Meleos is obsessed with books, and is as formidable as an angel can be expected to be.
  • 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. Perdissa has breasts, but like her male fellows, she has no nipples. Angel anatomy is essentially decorative. In the finale, Spera asks Mazikeen how she had sex with Lucifer despite his lack of genitals. Mazikeen leans in and whispers the answer. Spera is shocked speechless.
  • The Baroness: Mazikeen verges on this, as does her mother. Lys also has shades of this.
  • Becoming the Mask: Cestis, after she is resurrected by the Basanos and eats Elaine's adoptive father. She's not happy.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Titan Brothers talk and sometimes act like complete idiots. They are also cosmic entities who come very close to usurping the throne of God.
  • 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 exist within the comics.
  • Bishōnen: Most of the angels, including Lucifer, are elegantly good-looking in an almost-asexual way.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Everyone who survives to the finale pretty much gets a happy ending, except Lucifer, who can never have the one thing he truly wants, so he disappears into oblivion. Elaine Belloc doesn't end any happier, she has to cut ties with everyone including her best friend and fellow goddess, and gives everyone something they want (but not necessarily what they want the most), giving the entire cast a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Black Magic: Mazikeen utilizes this at least once.
  • Blessed with Suck: Briadach. Also, Jill, by choice (sort of), and Elaine, not by choice.
  • Brains and Bondage: Lady Lys, a shrewd demon with a demon's love of sin and pain.
  • Break the Haughty: Jill Presto, Lady Lys, Archon Michael — if you're at all a haughty character in this story, you're going to have the opportunity to learn humility at some point. Even Lucifer takes a few knocks.
  • 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."
  • Brought Down to Normal: Elaine uses her new godly powers to turn Noema into a fully human child.
  • Byronic Hero: Lucifer, unsurprisingly.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Lucifer (and eventually also Michael) challenging Yahweh is a main theme. There's a lot of it around generally though: Jill and Mazikeen and Briadach to their mothers, Elaine to her adoptive parents, the Basanos to Meleos, Jayesh to his shopkeeper dad... Gathering enough willpower and personal experience to acknowledge the flaws in one's parents/progenitors is a very prominent theme in the series. Interestingly, Yahweh seems to be actively trying to get this reaction out of His sons.
  • Came Back Wrong: In his first appearance, Tsukiyomi is a polite, romantic poet and Extreme Doormat who delights in showing Lucifer the wonders of his mother's palace. After his death and reappearance in the Mansions of the Silence, he takes the form of a spindly spider-thing with a markedly different demeanour.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Elaine Belloc's true father is the archangel Michael.
  • Character Development: A lot, but perhaps most notably Mazikeen, Elaine and Rudd. However, part of Lucifer's infamous pride is his refusal to develop in any way. He still ends up a somewhat different character than he was at the beginning, though.
  • The Chessmaster: As for Manipulative Bastard, plus Briadach. (Though he's something of a Manipulative Bastard too, in his way.)
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Jin en Mok Saul runs into another of his kind and demands to know whether it's Berim or Cestis (it's Cestis). They then try to end the world, but fail. Berim shows up much later, along with a better world-ending plan.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Bergelmir. And arguably Coyote. Apparently Jill brings this out in people.
  • Combat Tentacles: Susanoo-no-mikoto deploys these against the Lilim as one of his greater attacks.
  • Continuity Nod: Appearances by John Constantine and various characters from The Sandman. Likewise, note the appearance of The Source from DC's older cosmic-level comics.
  • Council of Angels: Who's running the Silver City in the apparent absence of God?
  • Creative Sterility: Most angels.
  • Creepy Child: Innocence (AKA the Child) of the Basanos.
  • Crossover Cosmology: The comic features appearances by Norse gods, Japanese gods, various mythological creatures and so on.
  • Curbstomp Battle: A common mortal pimp threatens one of the children of Lilith herself, whose father was a powerful demon. It ends badly for him. Very quickly. In fact, most fights throughout the story turn out to be wildly unequal.
  • Cursed With Awesome:
    • Jill gets possessed by the Basanos, and while they give her powers and such if she obeys them, they give her a lot of crap if she doesn't.
    • Subverted with Erishad. Her gods cursed her with immortality, complete with immunity to aging and injury. Sounds awesome, right?
      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.
  • Debt Detester: Lucifer, to no-one's surprise, despises the idea of being dependent on anybody and makes a point of honour to pay everything back. The ending implies he resents God for having created him in the first place, since it means he's dependent on someone else for existing.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Mona Doyle eventually becomes a Goddess. So does Elaine Belloc, but Elaine was never fully human.
  • Demon of Human Origin: 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.
  • 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 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 raked her fingernails across Yahweh's face!
    • A more traditional version when Hosteen Sam Begai informs Lucifer that he's trespassing: "Atse'Hashke, this is my house, and you were not invited here."
  • 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 and die. Because that's just the kind of guy he is.
    • Lucifer himself is prone to these if someone crosses him. He destroys the life work of the angel Melos, thousands of years of effort, for disobeying him.
  • 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 is dead, tells her to rest while he searches for help. He doesn't live much longer himself, dying after Lucifer, angered that they trespassed without permission, refused to help him.
  • Divine–Infernal Family: The central drama is built on the Presence being as much Lucifer's father alongside Michael as He is his creator; Lucifer wants to escape his father's plan and shadow, which is exceptionally difficult given who the Presence is. The Presence actually wants him to achieve this. Archangel Michael serves as Lucifer's brother and The Dutiful Son.
  • Divinely Appearing Demons: Well, devil. Lucifer is depicted as a handsome man with golden wings, and is consistently shown as one of the most (if not the most) attractive of all the angels.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Invoked by Lucifer. "You are the man and the woman. This is the garden."
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Lucifer is one of the most powerful beings in existence, probably exceeded only by God and rivaled only by Michael, but he's usually operating under some limitation that prevents him from simply destroying whatever's in his way. This may be justified given Lucifer's personality, ego, pride, and massive narcissism. Given who he is and his power, he seems to find When All You Have Is a Hammer... solutions and getting his hands dirty beneath him. Put it this way, if you were more powerful than 99.99% of everything in the universe by a wide margin, everything would be and ant to you. Why not not have the ants do the ant work which is beneath you?
  • Dream Spying
  • Earth Is Young: The first albums manage to avert this trope, in spite of being based in a creationist cosmology, 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. They're stated to be leftover beings from a previous version of the universe who want to get out of this one and start their own using Lucifer's gate.
    • The angels, demons and Yahweh Himself seem more like this than their usual portrayals. They're just prettier.
  • Evil Matriarch: Izanami and Lilith. They pull this off in different ways, with Izanami clearly caring very much for her children, while Lilith obviously doesn't care for anyone except herself.
  • 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.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Lucifer's hair changes from blond 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 runs the gamut from white-blond to straw-blond 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, however, 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.
  • False Flag Operation: In A Dalliance With the Damned, a conspiracy switches letters from a baron of one of Hell's provinces to incite violence between the baron of Effrul and Lucifer. Later, the conspirators set fire to a riot within the baron's palace. Subverted in that Lucifer and the baron immediately recognize both events for what they are and plan for such betrayal.
  • Fanservice 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 Izanami, in her later appearance.
    • Lys is an inversion of the trope. She's introduced as a pure Ms. Fanservice, hot and frequently naked. But after Rudd poisons her with the ability to feel guilt, she looks gaunt and dresses much more demurely.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Justified; certain parts of Hell styled themselves after Renaissance Europe for fashion reasons.
  • Fate Worse than Death: For trying to manipulate him (see False Flag Operation above), Lucifer grants a demon a soul... that he might be tortured forever in his own pain mill after death.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Berim and Cestis.
  • Femme Fatale: Lys. Izanami has shades of this in her last appearance.
  • Fetus Terrible: Erishad's baby, and also Eikon and Noema
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Yahweh tries several on when talking to Elaine, but she's not all that comfortable with any of them.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Lucifer has a tendency to this tactic. It's usually but not always given some kind of plot reason. (But see also Barbie Doll Anatomy, above.)
  • Gambit Pileup: Happens a lot. It's not really surprising, given the density of Manipulative Bastards in the story.
  • 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: Yahweh shows up late in the plot. But He's omniscient, and must logically have been involved, in a way, from the start.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: In their own, morally grey way, 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.
  • 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, (as in the case of Solomon,) it's more of an Ignored Epiphany.
  • Hell Has New Management: Christopher Rudd manages to go from damned soul to sex toy for the nobility of Hell into one of the nobility himself and eventually ruler of Hell. This is, of course, after Lucifer resigns rulership of hell and it gets turned over to two angels in The Sandman. As Gaudium remarks later, the rulership of Hell seems to be "something that any schmendrick can add to his resume these days."
  • Hell Invades Heaven: At least once along the way. Depending how you define "Hell", perhaps.
  • 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, at the urging of some "friends". 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.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Elaine and Mona.
  • History Repeats: Lucifer burns out Meleos' eyes in order to prevent him from remaking the Basanos in order to avert this trope.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Lucifer, for all intents and purposes; his powers and abilities are beyond any Super Power Lottery, but the series is not mainly about physical combat and certainly that's not Lucifer's preferred way to get what he wants. Also, it is made clear that in certain realms Lucifer has to abide by their law; so you won't get to see Lucifer going Darkseid and annihilating other Physical Gods with his might. It's not so much that Lucifer has to obey the laws so much as breaking them could damage or even destroy the realm he is trying to fulfill his goals in which would, of course, defeat the purpose of going to said realms.
  • Holier Than Thou: Amenadiel takes this Up to Eleven, as do several other angels.
  • Honey Trap: Musubi attempts this with Lucifer (and, naturally, fails). Cestis is also hinted to have pulled this in the past.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice (Sandalphon.)
  • Informed Ability: The reader will spend more time running off to The Sandman and reading footnotes in Lucifer's own series about his Super Power Lottery and Story-Breaker Power stats than actually see them, or rather the vast majority, in action.
  • Inspector Javert: Solomon, though he doesn't limit himself to just one target.
  • Intellectual Animal: Lord Arux's "pet", Prackspoor.
  • It's All About Me: Lucifer isn't very verbal about it, but it's fairly obvious that he never does anything for any other reasons than his own.
  • Journey to Find Oneself: In "All We Need of Hell".
  • Kick the Dog: Numerous occurrences, often courtesy of Lucifer himself. On the other hand, it's rather hard to feel badly for some of Lucifer's victims, such as a crass truck driver (who Lucifer curses with impotence), Kagutsuchi (who is implied to have raped Musubi in the past and unjustly attacks Lucifer when the latter goes to get his wings back), and Amenadiel.
  • Knight Templar: Several of the angels, such as Amenadiel, Perdissa (who crosses it with elements of Yandere), and Gabriel, in the backstory. And Remiel, of course. Ibriel also pulls this on Lilith. It doesn't end particularly well for him.
  • Lemony Narrator: Briadach, Unagor and Gaudium.
  • Light Is Not Good: Beside his appearance, Lucifer also likes fire as a weapon, and literally, his name means "light wielder". His purpose was, originally, to kindle the stars at creation's beginning.
  • 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.
  • Mangst: Christopher Rudd, so very much.
  • Manipulative Bastard: As for Magnificent Bastard under YMMV, but also the Basanos, Sandalphon, Berim, the Silk Man, and a number of other characters, including Briadach.
  • Mêlée à 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.
  • Mr. 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.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jill, which can get kinda Squicky considering all the awful things she goes through.
  • 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.
  • My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Lucifer constantly contends with gods, demons, and angels of incredible power, and is frequently at an apparent disadvantage when doing so. But all of them (except God) have to operate within certain rules, and Lucifer always knows how to turn those rules to his advantage.
  • The Neidermeyer IN HELL!: Remiel.
  • Nice Guy: Michael. This serves him about as well as you'd expect in context.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Many, if not all, of the angels have this to some extent.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Lucifer is explicitly based on David Bowie.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Fenris. He does personify destruction — but he's rather more proactive than one would hope.
  • The Omniscient: Yahweh. Obviously. Everything that happens and ever will happen from the dawn of time through the first half of the series, including all of Lucifer's efforts to escape The Plan, were part of The Plan. Lucifer's rebellion and the War in Heaven, his rulership of Hell, abdication of Hell, and creating a new universe — all God's Divine Plan. This becomes a plot point in the second half of the series when God deliberately withdraws His will from the universe and turns a blind eye, allowing the possibility of an outcome He won't always have known. It was the only way He could allow something He could not predict to occur. Even then, He still guessed much of it correctly in almost every detail.
  • Our Angels Are Different: A lot.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Mahu is a powerful demon. He kicks a door open so hard that he kills the human who was standing behind it. When he thinks Lucifer is threatening him with a fall of several miles, he scoffs "Do you think a fall will kill me?" (Lucifer knows better; what he's actually threatening Mahu with is being thrown into orbit — not that orbit would kill Mahu either, but atmospheric re-entry would when his orbit finally degraded enough.) He would probably be a serious threat to DC's standard superheroes. But in a cast that includes Mazikeen and Lucifer, he just looks pathetic.
  • Perpetual Frowner: In contrast to his earlier appearance in The Sandman, Lucifer never smiles or laughs. In fact, one could go so far as to say he only expresses two emotions: perpetual annoyance and brief flashes of pure rage.
  • 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.
  • Race Lift: A weird, meta version; Rachel Begai and her family appear to be entirely white in the first issue, despite being Native American (full-blooded in the case of Rachel's father and half in the case of Rachel and Paul). Later issues fix this.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: The title character's major motivation: to achieve something outside his Father's Divine Plan.
  • Rape as Drama: Jill suffers rape at the hands of the Basanos. Rachel Begai and Mazikeen also suffer a Near-Rape Experience.
  • 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.
  • The Resenter: The Lilim have this as their hat, the exceptions being Briadoch and Mazikeen.
  • 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.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Prackspoor to Lord Arux.
  • Satan: Subverts almost every traditional 'devil' concept.
  • Screw Destiny: Lucifer tries to one-up Destiny of the Endless, first by trying to bet he'll be able to do something Destiny cannot predict (which Destiny doesn't rise to), and then by ripping pages from Destiny's book and burning them, claiming Destiny is now as much in the dark as he. Except the ashes turn out to tell him exactly what will happen, allowing Destiny to bend his own rules never to read aloud from his book and show Lucifer there's nothing he doesn't foresee. Judging by his words, Lucifer is forced to concede.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: Every one of the damned in hell is this to some extent. Lucifer arguably ends up with one of his own in the end.
  • Self-Serving Memory: In the final issue Lucifer has a flashback to his discussion with Morpheus back in The Sandman. While in the original storyline Lucifer is presented as extremely emotive and passionate, laughing and expressing visible anger at the folly of mortals, in the flashback he seems just as stoic as he has been for the rest of the comic.
  • Shout-Out: John Constantine is among 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.
  • Slasher Smile: Mazikeen has a memorable one.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Lucifer pulls this 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.
  • The Sociopath: Quite a few characters, including the title character.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: Izanami to Lucifer at the end of the series is a version of this — and it works, but we don't see that until the sequel. She also decides to reinvent herself after.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Lucifer in his version of Creation.
  • Sunnydale Syndrome:
    • Played with 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
  • Super Power 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.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Basanos, who also provide a Tarot Troubles reading for Lucifer in the original mini-series.
  • Tempting Fate: Quite a few characters, including the title character, get into this occasionally.
  • To Hell and Back: Though, being the former Lord of Hell, this isn't anything unusual for Lucifer.
  • To Hell with This Infernal Job: In the backstory.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sherri and, to a (slightly) lesser extent, Ewan from Volume 2, both of whom are not only stupid enough to climb the large, mysterious building, but also break into it (with Sherri fully believing she's "invited" due to simply having a sixth sense). The building, of course, turns out to belong to Lucifer, and it works out for them about as well as one might expect.
    Lucifer: You came into my house without knocking. And then you prayed to him.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Lucifer's personality lightens up after the time skip.
  • Totally 18: 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.
  • Twisted Eucharist: The great wolf Fenris escaped his imprisonment and hatched a long-term plan to conserve his energies for the end of the world. He staged a reconciliation dinner for his enemies, the Aesir, and tricked them into eating pieces of his own flesh and drinking his blood, thereby storing his memories and powers in godly vessels. In present times, he allies himself with a group of other entropy gods to hunt down all of those who partook in his flesh and devour them. He even force-feeds a weakened Lucifer a bit of his own blood to drive him into a murderous frenzy, killing his own brother Michael, feeding Yggdrasil his fallen blood and essentially securing the destruction of the universe.
  • 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 Unreveal: 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.
    • Lilith has one that's also a Tear Jerker and a Heel Realization. I was never cruel, before I loved...
  • Villain Protagonist: As a back cover blurb puts it, this is a story about the forces of good, evil and beyond evil.
  • Villains Never Lie: Lucifer. Keeping promises and repaying debts is one of the few traditional virtues he's a stickler about maintaining.
    "...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."
  • Villain Team-Up: In "Morningstar".
  • Weak, but Skilled: A demon mocks Christopher Rudd for thinking he can win in a sword fight because the demon is much faster and stronger. Rudd shows him why.
    Ten hours a day, devil. For twenty-eight years. So I could teach the strong and the quick what else they needed before they could call themselves swordsmen.
  • 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.
  • "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".
  • Worthy Opponent: Judging by how he treats him compared to practically everyone else, Lucifer appears to hold a great deal of respect for Duma. Or maybe it's simply because there's no sport in trying to verbally provoke someone who never talks back.
  • 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 ignores him as they would a person who's being generally rude, impolite and socially inappropriate. That said, earlier 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 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.
  • You Are Who You Eat: The Jin En Mok demons Cestis and Saul. This is usually just a disguise, but to her horror, it ends up being a literal example for Cestis.

Lucifer (2015) contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Medjine's adoptive family treats her like utter crap. A case can also be made for Izanami, who pretty much had Takehiko raised for the sole purpose of killing Lucifer.
  • Allergic to Evil: God, which is how Lucifer kills him.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Takehiko, the son of Izanami and Lucifer Morningstar, whom he intends to kill.
  • Anti-Villain: Takehiko, who comes across more as a kid in over his head than an actual threat.
  • Benevolent Boss: Lucifer treats his employees at Ex Lux well. Given that it's Lucifer, though, he's definitely not above breaking out the snark.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Takehiko gets this on both sides, being the son of Izanami and Lucifer.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Elaine, who was the Narrator All Along.
  • Broken Bird: Gabriel's time in Hell and the human world has not been kind to him.
  • Body Horror: Gabriel is obviously missing his heart, and Lucifer has a constantly bleeding wound on his side.
  • Came Back Wrong:
    • God, who comes back as an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Michael Demiurgos, who comes back as a blindly obedient archangel, in contrast to his more rebellious self in the original series.
  • Closet Key: Raphael decides to seek comfort from runaway Lorin Hammon.
  • Cruel Mercy: Rather than kill Takehiko and Izanami, Mazikeen sentences them to be sealed inside the House of Windowless Rooms for eternity.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Gabriel has crossed it after being exiled from heaven thanks to Constantine. It saves him from being mind-controlled by God.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Played with. It's Izanami's reason for getting revenge against Lucifer... but it was a fight she started to begin with. It's also deconstructed; Izanami's partially-justified revenge against Lucifer goes way overboard, to the point where it unnecessarily ruins countless lives, including her own.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Lucifer's a fan of all kinds of sins, except for those that interfere with free will.
  • Freak Out: Raphael, upon hearing a secret from Metatron, has one of these and kills him.
  • God is Dead: The question is by who and how? He did, with the involuntary help of Gabriel.
  • The High Queen: Mazikeen became this in Hell. She's still very much capable of being an Action Girl, however.
  • Kick the Dog: Deconstructed. Lucifer's unnecessary murder-by-proxy of Tsukiyomi (and the not-so-unnecessary killing of Kagutsuchi) in the previous series leads directly to Izanami causing some serious trouble for him.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The new series naturally comes with the assumption that readers are familiar with the original. As a result, major spoilers from the first series are treated as common knowledge.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Elaine shirking her duties paves the way for God to resume his former position and come back wrong.
  • Oh, Crap!: "Free will. That bastard is taking away our free will." Also counts as OOC Is Serious Business, as it's the normally unshakeable Lucifer who says this.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: How God forced Gabriel to kill him. Gabriel doesn't take it well.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Lucifer is staunchly unimpressed with a would-be rapist who slipped a roofie into a woman's drink at his club. He ends up tossing the guy into a star that was named after him as a Christmas present to one of his workers.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gabriel is the red, Lucifer is (naturally) the blue.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Izanami. Not only does she raise her son to take revenge on his own father, but when God is planning omnicide, she keeps the former as her primary aim, rather than setting her goals aside for the moment. Not to mention that she doesn't even try to rescue Takehiko or find out if he's alive.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Mazikeen, to one of Takehiko's (who proposes marriage on his behalf).
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Izanami, and she has the Nerves of Steel to back it up.
  • Token Minority: Of all the angels, there are maybe two black angels, and a single gay one.
  • Tranquil Fury: Lucifer shows this whenever he gets angry, most notably when Mazikeen gets injured, and when he gets an eviction notice for his club.
  • Transplant: From minor Hellblazer villain, Gabriel now co-stars with Lucifer in the sequel.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Medjine's abusive foster family never comes up again. Michael is a more egregious example, though he's presumably cured when his father bites the dust again.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lucifer gets called out on his selfish abandonment of creation, namely by Mazikeen and Elaine.
  • You're Not My Father: Lucifer says this of what's apparently left of God.

Lucifer (2018) contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Lucifer to a degree compared to his previous incarnations. While in the previous Lucifer runs Lucifer was very amoral and put his own interests above everyone and everything else, he was more or less indifferent to others unless they were of benefit to his ends or crossed him to earn his ire. In this series, Lucifer is a much darker, sinister figure and seems to take some sadistic enjoyment in the suffering of others and those that earn his anger. While previously Lucifer was (for the most part) dispassionate and stoic in his demeanor, this time he casts an almost miasmal aura of dread and more closely portrays the common fictional image of the devil.
  • Anti-Villain: Caliban, of the well-intentioned variety. He displays compassion towards others and gives his father a well-deserved What the Hell, Hero? over his apathy, pointing out that he could easily stop people from suffering.
  • Asshole Victim: At the start of the series, Lucifer has become a non-fatal example of this to someone who turns out to be Stingy Jack, whom Lucifer is strongly implied to have dealt with in the past.. Lampshaded by Matthew:
    Matthew: Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Exaggerated. Lucifer is now blind, elderly, and homeless in a town that's impossible to leave.
  • History Repeats: Defied by Lucifer, who refuses to abandon his son, even though he admits he can't be a proper father to him.
  • Humanity Ensues: While Lucifer is trapped in a strange town that he searches desperately for the exit, he is no stronger or able than a normal, mortal human being. While he can grow back his eyes or put back body parts (like putting his fingers back on) he can still be injured as easily as a normal person and he other injuries like wounds and broken bones heal more slowly.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: During his time spent being a weak and vulnerable as a normal mortal being, Lucifer finds himself dependent on the help of others. While it's something he initially resents, he is genuinely touched by the compassion William Blake shows him by offering assistance, treating his broken leg, and sympathizing with his desperate desire to finish his task. Later when Blake is attacked and crucified, Lucifer gets him down and swears to make the one responsible pay for Blake's suffering.
  • It's All About Me: Both Lucifer and Sycorax have this going on.
  • Mythology Gag: An LAPD detective named John Decker (and his wife, Penelope) become entangled in Lucifer's fate.
  • Necessarily Evil: To avoid being sent back to Hell as Cassandra prophesied, Lucifer has himself annotated out of Destiny's book and making it as though he never existed, the only people who remember him being those who knew him personally. This proves to have catastrophic consequences on Earth and beyond in a number of ways: since Lucifer embodies the fears of punishment and damnation, much of mankind's Primal Fears and the ethics that come with it are gone with him. Since Lucifer did not lead the War in Heaven, the Fallen Angels are left without a leader and devolve into a power struggle, Hell becoming a wasteland where the demons cannibalize one another instead of the metaphysical nation it would become. Without evil there cannot be good and thus God disappears too, leaving the The Armies of Heaven (who rely on God's grace as sustenance) to starve, going mad as they cannibalize each other in a way indistinguishable from Hell.
  • Never My Fault: Sycorax completely dismisses her role in the tragic events that play out, claiming that because she never asked for help, she's not responsible. Naturally, the truth is much more complex.
  • Pet the Dog: Lucifer is convinced to let one of the ravens he has trapped for a spell go free... not that it does the raven any good. He also expresses regret over a newly-formed trio of witches losing a member to the plague.
  • The Wild Hunt: The Wild Hunt is the very first hunt of predator and prey personified again and again as a method of catharsis for the inherent bloodlust that comes with life, a bloodlust that would only build and develop into wars and the potential end of the universe should they let it continue. The hunt usually involves the Hunted God being hunted by Thirst, Fear and Honor (personified as a trio of godly berserkers) across the universe. For a time, Odin Allfather led the hunt until they tracked it down and killed the Hunted God in Hell. Since all who suffer in Hell must stay in Hell, Lucifer would not allow them to keep their kill, but Odin managed to convince him otherwise on the condition that he joined their next hunt. As Lucifer does, he perverted this sacred event by hunting the Hunted God before the hunt would even begin, killing the god at infancy again and again until the god's divine essence was whittled down nearly to nothing.


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