The Devil Down Below

Obviously, American culture has been saturated with revisions of the Genesis stories and the roles the various characters played in the fall of a portion of the heavenly host and all of earth. Thus, it would be quite impossible to list every incarnation of the devil. However, I will list the handful that actually helped me get through Paradise Lost and inspired me to do my own revision project, focusing mostly on various themes in cross-cultural criticism. 

Lucifer by Mike Carey

A spin off from Neil Gaiman's graphic novels Sandman, it is obvious that this particular re-telling does not attribute the existence of death to Satan's fall. Death, as one of the Endless, has been around long before Lucifer even thought about rebelling. This particular graphic novel portrays Lucifer more ambivalently than mine; he is more Slytherin in nature, a trickster, and not as concerned with the ideologies surrounding God's will.

Lucifer, Supernatural style.

So, it might be a CW show, but that still doesn't inherently inhibit it from having its own unique spin about the Genesis story. Here, they focus mostly not on Satan's desire to rival himself with God, but at his hurt pride about being told whom he should love. However, throwing an epic, apocalypse-sized tantrum over unresolved daddy issues is hardly a way to garner sympathy for his wounded pride.


Crowley (An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter vaguely Downwards).

Okay, so not really a retelling of the Genesis story, but more of Revelations. Still, it explores similar themes popular in re-tellings (some of which I even touch on in my own re-telling): what is the nature of good, what is the nature of evil, etc. And obviously, two demons frolicking together while the world burns with something akin to homoerotic tension would aghast our dear Milton.

Though perhaps I dismiss Good Omens too quickly. There is, after all, the scene where Aziraphale, an angel-rare-book-dealer sort of adorkable nerd, reveals that he was the one guarding the Garden and it was he who gave the flaming sword to Adam and Eve to warm them against the long night. It was a gesture of mercy that is decidedly lacking in Milton's text, Son or no Son.

Lucifer in "Murder Mysteries" by Neil Gaiman.

Everybody should read this short story. Lucifer is even more sympathetic and human than any other rendition that I have read. And it is truly beautiful.