- "Let me burn."
- —Lucifer, quote on back cover
“CITY OF GOD”
Nothing lives forever, be it man, god, or empire, but that doesn’t mean you have to go quietly. Join us as Lucifer refuses to fiddle while the Roman Empire burns. The critically acclaimed THE WICKED + THE DIVINE inevitably vandalizes history as it turns to the Sack of Rome. Showcasing the epic art of ANDRÉ LIMA ARAÚJO (Avengers AI, Man Plus), the special is NOT included in the forthcoming fifth volume of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE.
The year is 455 AD and the Western Roman Empire is almost at an end. Lucifer is the only remaining member of the 450s Pantheon. Dressed as Julius Caesar, he approaches a shepherd on the outskirts of Rome, asking where the invading Vandal army is. He declares that he is going to fight them and be proclaimed emperor. He flies off in the direction of the army, and a moment later, a fiery explosion erupts nearby. The shepherd flees in terror.
Lucifer parades through Rome at his coronation, fiery powers on full display.
Imperial Phase, 2 August 455Edit
As Lucifer looks out at his new empire, he reminisces about his days as an actor with his now-dead lover, Dionysus, and longs to have him by his side. At that moment, Ananke arrives, questioning why he did not die with his fellow gods as agreed. He replies that Lucifer is dead, and he is now Julius. Ananke attempts to persuade him to sacrifice himself, to little success. Recounting the fates of the other gods, he accuses Ananke of being an enemy of the Pantheon and of Rome. Ananke raises her finger towards him, but he simply sets her on fire. She tells him in desperation that his godhood will consume him, and pledges to save him from a Christian burial should he die within the next two weeks. If not, she says she will let him kill her. Lucifer, however, remains convinced he will survive, and throws her out. He continues to dwell on memories of Dionysus and their relationship, musing on the frustrations of being an artist in Rome.
Lucifer addresses the Senate and is caught between the present day and Rome's ancient history. He vows to be a "good Emperor", in the mode of Julius, rather than Caligula. Two weeks later, he massacres the Senate, playing the body of a dead Senator like a harp. He compares himself to Nero, whose interest in art was considered inappropriate for a Roman. As he hallucinates a critical Dionysus, he sees the blood on his hands, and realises he is on the verge of death.
Lucifer stands in a temple on a pile of gold, addressing his "father", Jupiter. He pleads for his life and sets himself on fire, but his powers fade. He begs to at least die burning on a Roman pyre, but instead blood pours forth from his face and he falls down dead. Ananke drags him outside to the Tiber and begins chopping up his limbs, throwing them into the river. She is approached by Geiseric, King of the Vandals, and tells him to take Rome and erase the events of Lucifer's short reign from history, so future Pantheons will not repeat his mistakes. The fragments of Lucifer's body float down the bloody river, and the issue ends on a title card reading "City of God, 16 August 455".
- ↑ Kieron Gillen's newsletter
- ↑ FULL Image Comics Solicits For May 2017 – Launching Regression, Youngblood, Eternal Empire, Paklis, Samaritan, 25c Saga, And More Grrl Scouts, Renato Jones And The Dying And The Dead - Bleeding Cool