How David Bowie Inspired The Comic Book Character Lucifer
Audiences are in for one hell of a ride with the debut of the new supernatural detective series Lucifer that airs on Fox Monday night. Starring Tom Ellis as the Prince of Darkness, the series follows Lucifer Morningstar, who has given up his throne and now lives in Los Angeles where he serves as the ruler of an upscale nightclub. With his sinfully good looks and devilish charm, Lucifer is now enjoying the many guilty pleasures of life.
However, something within the character's dark soul is awakened after a woman is murdered outside his club. Showing a more compassionate and human side of Satan, Lucifer then teams up with LAPD homicide detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), using his talents to make people reveal their darkest secrets and serve them the punishment they deserve.
We have high hopes that this series will be sinfully good, that it may even restore our faith in the whole buddy-cop storyline that seems played out.
Lucifer is a loosely-based TV adaption of DC Entertainment's comic book character of the same name. Lucifer Morningstar debuted in 1989 as a supporting character in DC's imprint Vertigo series The Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman, and later went on to star in his own spin-off series written by Mike Carey.
While the comic book character was based in part on the biblical story of the fallen angel, as well being influenced by John Milton's poem Paradise Lost, it was a real-life star that played a major role in his creation — David Bowie.
Gaiman, who has been a huge Bowie fan since he was a child, used the artist as an inspiration to help mold the look of the edgy character for The Sandman.
"The iconography of Bowie, the look of Bowie, to a teenage Neil, was absolutely magical, and as I have gotten older, and appreciate him as an artist, and a creation, he still seems weird and powerful," Gaiman previously told the Chicago Tribune. "I owe him so much. I have always become interested in what he's interested in."
So much so that he wanted to create a comic book character that was just as cool as the legend.
"The young, folk singer-period Bowie was the inspiration. I imagined Lucifer as a junkie angel, and young Bowie was the closest we got," Gaiman said,
Comparing a photo of Lucifer in the comics with an image of the young David Bowie, its not hard to see the resemblance.
The icon's passion for music will also shine through in the Fox series.
"David Bowie was what the original character was based on, the sketches and stuff that was in the graphic novel," Lucifer actor Tom Ellis said at the 2016 Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "What we did do is take some of Bowie's music and infused it into the pilot. Lucifer is a massive David Bowie fan. Music is a massive part of the show. It was a big thing in the pilot script and it's something we're trying to continue for the series. Lucifer's taste in music is a big thing. He's a big appreciator of music."
Even though Lucifer in the TV series is a Bowie fan, the show's creators decided to cast the character to not look like the star.
"Because of the way he was so explicitly drawn, unless we could get David Bowie, it's probably better not to try and mimic David Bowie," executive producer Jonathan Littman said. "We felt like taking this fresh casting chance."
Bowie died Jan. 10, at the age of 69, after battling cancer. The rock icon will live on through his legendary music, movie roles — and for comic book fans — in Lucifer.
While Gaiman told the artist to make sure Lucifer looked like Bowie, this isn't the first time an antihero supernatural comic book character was based on a musician. DC's character from Hellblazer and Constantine, John Constantine (who also stared in his own TV series, Constantine) was modeled after the pop artist Sting.
Lucifer premieres at 9 p.m. EST Monday, Jan. 25, on Fox.