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Mazikeen, riding out to battle
Sandman vol. 2 #22|
Neil Gaiman (writer)|
Kelley Jones (artist)
|Place of origin||Red Sea|
Mazikeen is one of the Lilim, that is, the children of Lilith; she is a comic book character published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Sandman vol. 2 #22, (December 1990), and was created by Neil Gaiman and Kelley Jones.
In the comic book series Lucifer, Mazikeen is a devoted ally and lover of Lucifer Morningstar and the war leader of the Lilim, a race descended from Lilith. A fearsome warrior and a respected leader, Mazikeen is a prominent character in the Lucifer comics. She has the appearance of a beautiful human female with long bluish black hair. She is also the only character for whom Lucifer seems to have any genuine affection. Mazikeen first appeared in The Sandman, where she was Lucifer's consort while he reigned in Hell. At the time, half of her face was normal, but the other half was horribly misshapen and skeletal, causing her speech to be nearly unintelligible. (Gaiman wrote Mazikeen's dialogue by trying to speak using only half of his mouth, and writing down phonetically what came out.)
When Lucifer resigned, Mazikeen left Hell and ended up following her master, becoming part of the staff at the "Lux" (Latin for light), an elite Los Angeles bar that Lucifer had opened and at which he played piano. To conceal her demonic nature, she covered the deformed half of her face with a silver mask and rarely spoke. In Lucifer, Mazikeen's face was turned fully human when she was resuscitated by the Basanos following the destruction of the Lux in a fire. This was because the vessel of the Basanos, Jill Presto, did not realize that Mazikeen's face was naturally deformed, and assumed that it was burned in the fire.
When Lucifer refused to assist her in restoring her face to its former state, she defected to her family, the Lilim-in-Exile. As their war leader, she led their army against Lucifer's cosmos, allying herself briefly with the Basanos. However, this was a ruse; after a desperate gamble, she bought Lucifer enough time to destroy the Basanos and regain control of his creation. Lucifer then reaccepted her into his service and made the Lilim-in-Exile the standing army of his universe. She has been Lucifer's constant ally and the only character in the DC series to genuinely love him. Even during her defection she is shown crying alone in her war leader tent, and she is repeatedly seen as a fierce defender of Lucifer and his goals.
With a new whole face she initially desired Lucifer to remove the magic that was caused by Presto's wish. After saying that it would take considerable effort and time, she relented and began wearing the half-mask that she had before. Even Lucifer remarked on how beautiful she looked, saying that her new face had a "relentless symmetry." She has since worn it intermittently, usually when engaged in battle or on a mission from Lucifer such as her voyage to the mansions of silence.
Issue 72 of "Lucifer" saw a dramatic change in the character of Mazikeen. Lucifer, while making his preparations to leave Yahweh's creation forever, imparts two gifts to her. First, he restores Mazikeen's face to its original form, saying that he wished to see her as she had looked when she "first came to [him in Hell]." For the second gift, Lucifer transfers all of his power, and his title of "The Lightbringer" to Mazikeen, telling her that "... this will be our marriage. Our Union." The power that Yahweh gave to Lucifer in the beginning had now been given to Mazikeen. If the full extent of Lucifer's powers were transferred, then Mazikeen is now the second most powerful entity in Creation, after Elaine Belloc. This angers Mazikeen greatly, however, as she sees this move as Lucifer running away from and shirking all of his responsibilities. She lashes out against Lucifer with her sword, scarring his face before she leaves him. She tells him that he can heal his face if he chooses, but it will make him a coward. He keeps the scar.
Mazikeen and her mother Lilith did not get along, and Lilith eventually tried to kill her. It is notable though, that Mazikeen took no part in the events during the battle of Armageddon that led to her mother's death. During the latter part of the series Mazikeen was engaged in an (apparently) sexual relationship with a human woman named Beatrice (a former Lux employee), who admitted that she had been in love with her for years. Beatrice was eventually cast out into the desert on Lilith's orders, but she was rescued by Elaine. In issue 74, Elaine gives her friends an ending as happy as possible. When it comes to Mazikeen, Elaine notes the "I wouldn't dare" in response to the question of if she planned to give Mazikeen one. She then adds that Beatrice works at the bar they were in earlier.
During the course of the Lucifer series, a few details of Mazikeen's past are revealed. Issue 14 establishes that Lilith bore her children, presumably including Mazikeen, while living on the shores of the Red Sea. Mazikeen's father is identified as the serpent demon Ophur - a fact which allowed Mazikeen to drink and regurgitate venom. The one-shot story 'Lilith' in issue 50 reveals Mazikeen's childhood with her mother by the Red Sea. At this time, Mazikeen appeared as a normal human child, fiercely defensive of her mother and with a streak of cruelty. A flashback in issue 75 shows Mazikeen first entering Lucifer's service when she comes the Hell to seek asylum for an undisclosed reason. By this time her face is misshapen in the manner first seen in Sandman. Lucifer tells her, "Keep the face. It suits you."
- Irvine, Alex (2008), "Lucifer", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 118–124, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015