This is the volume in which two things (continue to) occur:
1). Mazikeen is awesome.
2). Elaine is awesome.
So now that Heaven is up for grabs, basically, some titans think they can just go out and claim it. Then Lucifer goes Doctor-Who on them as he defeats them in a timey-wimey fashion.
But forget that. Let's talk about how Mazikeen strides into heaven, doesn't give a single fuck that she's not wanted there, in order to warn Lucifer and foil their plans. See, the titans had created a Bizzarro-Lucifer from the memories of a waitress who used to work at Lux. So Mazikeen drags the waitress, works some magic, and voila! good guys win the day and then the angelic host is all grumpy because demons are bad and god forbid they be sullied with the presence of the likes of Mazikeen, right?
Behold the power of lesbian-love:
And as for Elaine -- check this out:
She became a guardian to Lucifer's world in the last volume, but she was still in her little-girl school clothes. But now now she's grown up and her clothing changes to reflect that.
I find this absolutely refreshing in a society that infantalizes women. And, of course, the clothes continue to symbolize her Grown-upness -- there's a scene towards the end where she's disappointed with herself and angry at the job she had to do and she reverts to her school-girl uniform and then reverts back when Mazikeen tells her she's acting like a child.
But, I think the most poignant story of this volume was the one about Thole and Martin.
It was like a dark version of Dr. Seuss.
The story was wonderful -- playing with themes like love and self-hood:
I like this because it touches on a common theme in speculative fiction -- ideas of perception and selfhood. Are we humans entirely sure that the beings we mindlessly other are not individuals too, granted with "personhood" as well?
But the theme isn't hammered over the reader's head -- it's just there, in all it's simplicity.
I like this because it recognizes what a complicated emotion love is. Sometimes I feel that it's always so simplified in a lot of stories.
I adore this image. Anyway, upshot is, Thole ends up attracting himself a mate and, in the fashion of black widows, she is a bitch from hell. Of course, Martin feels rejected and, in a fit of pique and jealousy, throws away the self-stone Thole had made him.
I found the gesture to be an incredible metaphor. How many times do we everyday people just throw ourselves to the mercy of our emotions -- allow ourselves to surrender to some of our darker impulses? And I couldn't help but wonder that, somewhere when that happens, when we become villains in our own stories, that we are throwing away our selves in anger or pain or grief.
I love the background -- the fragments of faces, of identity.
Another moment of Elaine-Awesomeness:
Whereas Mazikeen fulfills the imperative of Lucifer to get rid of all the immortals in his universe with the sword, Elaine does so with the mind.
And she takes away Thole's immortality:
I may have gotten teary eyed at this point in the story:
Martin is obviously more adjusted than me. I think that Death would have been proud of him.
On a happier note: Mazikeen looking sexy and awesome as all hell