Carey, Mike 1959-
CAREY, Mike 1959-
Born 1959, in Liverpool, England;
Home—England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, DC Comics, 1700 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10019-5905.
Comic-book writer for various publications, including Rock-It Comics, Malibu Publishers; Inferno, Negative Burn, and Doctor Faustus for Caliber Comics; Lucifer, My Faith in Frankie, and Hellblazer, for DC/Vertigo Comics; Wetworks, for Wildstorm Comics; and Ultimate Elektra, for Marvel Comics, 2004.
Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway, illustrated by Scott Hampton, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2001.
Lucifer: Children and Monsters, illustrated by Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly, and Dean Ormston, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2001.
Lucifer: A Dalliance with the Damned, illustrated by Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly, and Dean Ormston, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Jon J. Muth) Lucifer: Nirvana, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2002.
The Sandman Presents: The Furies, illustrated by John Bolton, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2002.
Lucifer: The Divine Comedy, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Peter Gross) Lucifer: Inferno, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2004.
Hellblazer is scheduled for adaptation to a feature film titled Constantine, starring Keanu Reeves.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Further graphic novels for DC Comics.
British comic-book author Mike Carey has proven to have a versatile touch with series work, creating dark, brooding scenarios with works such as Lucifer, comedy with My Faith in Frankie, and dealing with the world of superheroes in Wetworks and Ultimate Elektra. Arune Singh, writing in Comic Book Resources, noted that "meeting Mike Carey, the first thing that'll strike you about him is that he is truly a comic-book fan." Carey cut his teeth on comics as a youth in post-war Liverpool, beginning his writing career by submitting reviews to a small fanzine. By the late 1980s, however, he had begun submitting story pitches to comic imprint Trident. Ideas for a psychological horror series and for a superhero book were contracted, but Carey's debut titles died when his publisher went bankrupt.
He went on to do work-for-hire in the early 1990s for other small publishers until he was brought on by New York's DC Comics to work on several series titles. The first of these was Lucifer, a spin-off character from Neil Gaiman's classic adult comic Sandman. Carey's Lucifer presents a character who is, basically, the devil. More than an antihero, Lucifer is "unrepentant," according to Katherine Keller in NinthArt, "utterly chilling in his penetrating intellect, cold gaze, and utter lack of empathy or compassion." Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway collects the initial four issues of the series, as well as the three-volume miniseries, in a paperback.
Carey's miniseries finds Lucifer working for God, who wants some minor gods stopped before they gain too much power and disturb the balance of the world. The initial volumes of the ongoing series set up the ongoing storyline, with Lucifer Morningstar living among mortals and running a Los Angeles nightclub called the Lux. The sophisticated Lucifer is so self-centered that he has no regard for human life and will use his powers with no regrets. His "retirement" on Earth is continually spoiled by visits from people in his past, however, and soon he is busily setting up a parallel universe that will be in direct competition to God's universe. The first book also introduces major characters such as Jill Presto and Elaine Belloc. Keller felt that the two parts of this initial publication should have been broken into two books. Apart from that, however, she found that Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway "should serve to give new readers an ample taste of one of the most delicious titles to come out of Vertigo in a long time"; furthermore, she praised Carey as a "writer of dynamic vision and savage wit." Reviewing the same title in LogBook, Dave Thomer thought that "Carey succeeds [in this book] because the focus of the series is not so much on Lucifer's dealings with mortals, but with the forces of heaven, hell, and other spiritual realms." Similarly, Tom Knapp, writing in Rambles, observed that "Mike Carey certainly gives the devil his due, and I'm glad to see one of Gaiman's characters in such capable hands. Lucifer may be an unlikely protagonist, but this series is worth checking out."
A second "Lucifer" collection appeared in 2002, Lucifer: Children and Monsters, which includes issues 5 through 13 of the ongoing series. Here, Lucifer travels to Japan in search of his lost wings, deals with the destruction of his nightclub, and sets himself to battle the forces of heaven. Paul Kane, reviewing the title in Terror Tales, felt that Carey presents "an epic tale." For Kane, this graphic novel is one "any serious fan of the genre would be proud to have on their shelves." More praise came from Concatenation critic Tony Chester, who noted that "Carey has done a brilliant job of continuing this series, creating a Lucifer of great intelligence, ruthlessness and humour."
Issues 14 through 20 were gathered in Lucifer: A Dalliance with the Damned, a collection that demonstrates, according to Chester, that Lucifer "is easily one of the best comics available today." In Lucifer: Nirvana, Carey serves up a stand-alone book outside of the Lucifer comic-book series and story line. According to Randy Lander in FourthRail, this book "is mostly about a young Chinese woman seeking peace and a fallen angel seeking revenge." For Lander, Lucifer: Nirvana is "an example of a great story, told in one issue."
Carey has also published a graphic novel that continues other Sandman characters. With The Sandman Presents the Furies, Carey introduces three separate story lines that link up in a tale of Greek gods and goddesses. Among other characters are Cronus, the last in the Titans lineage, Hippolyta, Hermes, and the Furies themselves, who are "dogging some of [these characters] for varied sins of patricide," according to Booklist's Ray Olson. While Olson had praise for the "excitingly lurid artwork" of John Bolton, he was less positive about what he termed Carey's "lurching scenario" and an air of "New Age … sentimentality."
In addition to his Lucifer books for DC Comics, Carey has worked on Hellblazer, featuring the adventures and misadventures of John Constantine, a character originally introduced by author Alan Moore in Swamp Thing, on Wetworks, which features a band of mutant aliens who work in covert operations, and on his creator-owned comedy series, My Faith in Frankie. Speaking with Singh on Comic Book Resources, Carey was sanguine about future projects: "I can't say what the future will hold because my present is full to bursting. I will say that almost everything I'm doing at the moment is taking me into new places in terms of genre and narrative technique. I'm having a great time, and I think I'm writing more organically and more powerfully than I ever have before. I hope it doesn't end any time soon."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2003, Ray Olson, review of The Sandman Presents: The Furies, p. 966.
Comic Book Resources,http://www.comicbookresources.com/ (October 20, 2003), Arune Singh, "Care(Y) Bear Countdown"; (May 23, 2004), Arune Singh, "Make Mike's Marvel: Mike Carey First Marvel Comics Work, Ultimate Elektra."
Concatenation,http://www.concatenation.org/ (December 22, 2002), Tony Chester, review of Lucifer: Children and Monsters; (April 17, 2004), Tony Chester, review of Lucifer: A Dalliance with the Damned.
FourthRail,http://www.thefourthrail.com/ (August 28, 2002), Randy Lander, review of Lucifer: Nirvana.
LogBook,http://www.thelogbook.com/ (June 14, 2004), Dave Thomer, review of Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway.
Lucifer Morningstar,http://www.lucifermorningstar.com/ (June 18, 2004), "Mike Carey."
Newsarama,http://www.newsarama.com/ (May 27, 2004), interview with Mike Carey.
NinthArt,http://www.ninthart.com/ (August 3, 2001), Katherine Keller, review of Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway.
Rambles,http://www.rambles.net/ (February 8, 2003), Tom Knapp, review of Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway.
Strange-Haven,http://www.strange-haven.com/ (November 11, 2003), review of Lucifer: Volume 2; (December 14, 2003), Jennifer Contino, interview with Mike Carey.
Terror Tales,http://www.terrortales.org/ (September 8, 2002), Paul Kane, review of Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway and Lucifer: Children and Monsters.*