My Favorite Monster: Facing Your Demons With Mazikeen [Fantasy Week]
This week is Fantasy Week at ComicsAlliance, celebrating the best in magical fiction and imaginary worlds, and we’ve invited our writers to mark the occasion by celebrating a hallmark of the genre; the legendary creatures and outcast freaks we call “monsters.” This is My Favorite Monster.
I first met Mazikeen as a teenager reading Sandman. She’s a demon in the form of a beautiful dark-haired woman, but with half a face; the daughter of Lilith and lover of Lucifer Morningstar. The left side looks to have rotted away, leaving bone and teeth and an empty eye socket. And she's my favorite monster.
Mazikeen first appears in issue #22 of Sandman, when Lucifer abdicates his throne and gives Dream the key to Hell (truly an awful punishment; even Crowley on Supernatural is bored to death ruling Hell). Mazikeen refuses to leave Lucifer, staying til the very end when he locks the doors and turns his back on his realm. He tells her he’s not her master anymore, but she says she won’t forsake him. She ends up moving to Los Angeles with him and working at the nightclub he opens, Lux. To make her look palatable to the general populace, she wears a white mask covering the left side of her face.
Mazikeen’s story continues in the Lucifer comics, running Lux with Lucifer and generally being his better half. After a fire at Lux that basically kills Mazikeen, she is restored to health by a living tarot deck that took over the body of a woman named Jill (comics, you guys). Jill doesn’t know about Mazikeen’s face, though. She assumes it was mutilated in the fire and “fixes” it, but it’s with a regular human face that Mazikeen feels truly mutilated. She vows to take revenge on Jill, and seeks help in restoring her real face.
Lucifer could fix Mazikeen’s face (all of this happened because Lucifer essentially plays god and creates a new universe that other people are trying to control; he’s got the power), but he refuses. When he does, Mazikeen finally leaves him and goes back to the Lilim, the daughters of Lilith. She comes back (it was mostly a ruse to defeat their enemies), but it’s clear by this point that she is far more than just Lucifer’s lover and waitress. When he sets about to leave this universe forever, she’s so angry that he’s abandoning his responsibilities that she slashes his face with her sword, calling him a coward if he doesn’t keep the scar.
I love that Mazikeen is not afraid to show emotion. Even in her first appearance, as Lucifer is kicking all of his demons out of hell, she stands by him and tells him she loves him. But she’s not willing to put up with garbage just because it’s coming from him. If he’s not going to be there for her, she’s going to do what she needs to do, including leaving him. Their relationship is wonderful and complicated and full of love. You’ve got to respect that.
Mazikeen could pass as human, but she doesn’t want to. She knows who she is. Her face is her face; she wants to be herself even though it’s not human, or doesn’t fit conventional models of attractiveness. She’s a demon, arguably the most powerful demon after Lucifer leaves and gives her all of his power, and she’s proud of it. That’s why she’s my favorite monster.