The Wolf Beneath the Tree

Author: Mike Carey
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP: £9.99
1 84576 164 2

With the departure of God from his creation, all of existence now teeters on the edge of oblivion. In the absence of any divine guidance, the archangel Michael must find a way to stem the tide of destruction - and that means a visit to the only one who can know the future with any certainty: Destiny of the Endless. But whatever insight Michael gains from the cryptic Destiny, it cannot protect against the threat which has just awoken, hungry to fulfil the terrible dictates of its nature. Only Lucifer Morningstar can see what is coming to Yggdrasil, the World Tree, and what will happen at its roots when it arrives. The hour of the wolf is at hand, and its echoes may reach out to shake the foundations of Lucifer's cosmos as well as our own...

The Wolf Beneath the Tree is, to my mind, the finest Lucifer graphic novel I've read to date. When an angel, Samael Morningstar, copulates with a woman who has offended the heavens by bearing numerous demon offspring, it is the start of something much more sinister.

This collection tackles issue that will no doubt have theologists up in arms - God away from Heaven and Lucifer doing what he believes to be the right thing.

I couldn't help remembering a sketch from Not the 9 O'clock News while I was reading this. "Satan? Is he all bad?" Lucifer Morningstar is not all bad. In fact he tries to do the right thing but is just a little misguided. Heaven is the not idilic place mankind has made it into - far from it. Everything is messed up!

Highlights in this collection include the last few days in the life of a young man who is destined to commit suicide - thanks to a demon possession, and the messed up mind of a man who killed his wife and daughter, but believes they are still very much alive and waiting for him to join them.

One of the most intelligently written collections I have read in a long time.

Nick Smithson

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