Exclusive: Writer Holly Black on breathing new life into the LUCIFER comics

A decade ago, Mike Carey”s LUCIFER ended it”s run after six years and 75 issues. Based on the SANDMAN character created by Neil Gaiman, LUCIFER gained a relatively small but dedicated based over the course of its run. But when the ink was dry on the last page, the story was over.

…or was it?

Late last year, Vertigo Comics announced the Morningstar would return from his extended sabbatical. Not only that, but he”d be teaming up with his brother (the angel Gabriel) to figure out who murdered their father (God). You know, standard family drama. Vertigo brought on writer Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) to unravel the Herculean task of making sense of very dense source material. With Issue #3 of LUCIFER on stands today – February 17, 2016 – HitFix Harpy sat down with Holly over the phone to talk about her version of Lucifer. We also got an exclusive look at the pages of the new issue, so be sure to check them out below!


HITFIX HARPY: Had you read the comics?
HOLLY BLACK: Yeah I did back when they were released. I'm a big fan of this character, both in SANDMAN and Mike Carey's comic. It was intimidating figuring out how to go forward with the story. Mike tied that thing up so tight at the end of the series, that trying to unpick it? There's something kind of blasphemous about that. I definitely worried that people who liked the original would be like “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

When did you decide on the story?
BLACK: When Vertigo called me out of the blue I wasn't thinking about this series at all. They called and asked if I remembered a project I pitched a couple of years ago that they turned down. They were wondering if I wanted to pitch something else and I wasn't sure because of my schedule. In my other life I write YA novels…and then they said, 'Or Lucifer.' And I said, 'What!?!'

Guessing you cleared your schedule? [laughs]
BLACK: Yeah. Then began the process of trying to figure out what it could be about. How to make it work and what stuff did Mike Carey not do? One of the things he left alone was Gabriel, who was having a terrible time in Hell. So I thought whatever happened to him? I'd always loved him. I went back in the comics to figure out exactly where he was when the run ended and thought 'Maybe I can bring him here.' So many things had already happened to so many characters we knew from the LUCIFER continuity that getting someone we already knew to a different place was a lot of fun.

Mazikeen is the Queen of Hell these days, but it sounds like it might be against her will?
BLACK: It's…complicated.

Fair enough. Who came up with Mazikeen's new mask?
BLACK: I said I wanted her to have a crown mask and Lee Garbett invented one. He's just amazing. He draws things that when I write them I think 'No one can draw that! I'm such a jerk!' and then he DOES.

Will we get to see the rest of the gang? Elaine maybe?
BLACK: It's fun to see where these people are almost ten years on and what happened to them? Where'd they wind up? Will get into some of what happened to Elaine. There's a little bit of that in this issue. It's tough to weave in all the information that I need to.

Did either of Lucifer's other writers give you any advice or feedback?
BLACK: I had spoken to Neil Gaiman early on and he gave me some really good advice about writing comics and how I can 'own' Lucifer. How I can continue on but it's my character now. Going back and looking, I saw that how Neil created Lucifer as a sort of trickster figure while Mike Carey's version is much colder and more removed from the world Lucifer.

So the same, but different. Like a signature then?

If the run well, are you willing to come back and do more?
BLACK: I”d love to do more! There's six issues that I've done and it looks like I'll be doing some more. How much depends, but I'm definitely willing.