OEL Comic Review | Lucifer’s Garden by HamletMachine



There will be spoilers for the OEL comic series Lucifer's Garden.

Content Warning: There may be references to religion, confinement, sexual assault, blood, limb loss, sex shaming, voyeurism, , orgy and group sex, dubcon, violence, strangulation, power imbalance, a master and servant-like relationship, feminization, body experimentation, prejudice, and attempted murder, as these things do appear in the comic.


Elisah is an angel. But though he is an angel, he can't help being drawn to the forbidden, specifically sex. He finds himself being drawn to the nude and lustful, which his fellow angel Gabriel chastises him for, trying to keep him in line. While out with his fellow , Elisah sees an apple, a vibrant red fruit. He's drawn to the produce, but when he reaches for it, he's captured, and his wings are clipped by devils from hell. He is then confined in a cage and chained, taken to a festival of physical pleasures, and presented as a gift to Moloch.

Moloch is initially disinterested until he sees that Elisah is an angel. Moloch fully intends to educate the broken angel on the pleasures of the flesh, sating his desires. And though Elisah has fought against these lustful wants, now that he is in hell, how could he possibly ignore the temptation?


I have to gush about the art. I've been reading very narrative-heavy work, which often includes lots of internal dialogue, external dialogue, and exposition. It was a breath of fresh air to read something that actually has very little in the way of text. Mind you, it's still very strong narratively, but we'll get into that later. The lack of text really brings the artwork to the forefront, and it is stunning. It has a very muted color palette, giving a desolate nightmare-like quality to everything, which is befitting of the literal hellscape we spend most of our time in. Notably, however, the muting of is much more whitewashed and stark, a visual commentary on how suffocating and cold it is. Meanwhile, though muted, hell is full of warmer tones and much more color, representing a much more accepting and vibrant place. These contrasts are further exemplified in the landscape design, with heaven often having more walls or being more contained areas, while hell is much more vast and open. So, already, even without much in the way of narrative, we can clearly interpret the dichotomy between heaven and hell and how these two places influence Elisah.

Cover art for Lucifer's Garden by

Now, on to the story. I was not at all familiar with any of 's work prior to this month, so I'm not privy to all of the background on how this work came to be or what some of the lore might be. That said, this is all based on my interpretation and research into religious figures and stories in general. The most recognizable image we see in the opening is the red apple, a callback to the tree of knowledge of good and evil and, as such, opening the world to sin. What it means for Elisah is being captured by demons from hell, having his wings removed, and then being given to Moloch as a “pet” or enslaved being. Though this initially indicates Elisah's loss of freedom, it turns into an awakening. Ironically enough, Elisah has the most freedom when his wings are clipped, which is usually used to signify a loss of freedom and even self. Elisah, without his wings and the pressure of other angels, can explore sex, something he was shamed for in heaven. There is even a moment where he and Moloch drink something that changes or alters their genitals, which could be perceived as an exploration of gender, something he could never do within the confines of heaven. So, while for Adam and Eve, eating the apple is their first sin and separates them from Eden, for Elisah, it is the chance for him to separate himself from forced innocence and the control of heaven. The apple is freedom.

While I couldn't find anything about an angel named Elisah, I did find information about a devil or deity named Moloch. Interestingly enough, he seems to have been perceived to be representative of child sacrifice (source). While we don't see any humans (and thus their children) in this title, we do see someone being sacrificed to Moloch, which would be Elisah. Angels could be perceived as the first children of God, so, in a way, Elisah being given to Moloch would be a form of child sacrifice. There are also references (in that same source) to children being given to Moloch by fire. Of course, this could literally be taken as someone immolating a child and was more likely the meaning behind it in the olden days. However, for the sake of this modern work, we could interpret this to be “a baptism by fire,” which invokes a sense of challenges in a new situation. Elisah, in his sacrifice to Moloch, goes through a baptism of sorts where he learns the various forms of pleasure and exploration in hell and, in turn, learns about himself and all the things he restrained within himself in heaven. Moreover, there is a second sacrifice that occurs when, after nearly being murdered in hell, Elisah is returned to heaven so he may be saved. There, Elisah is given back his wings and new limbs, but he's also forced to submit and beg for forgiveness so he may stay in God's good graces. Elisah gives the greatest sacrifice to Moloch — his place in heaven. He sacrifices his identity as an angel, someone he doesn't identify with, so he can be with Moloch and in a place where he can live as his authentic self.

I've flexed many of my English Major muscles with this one, which has been a lot of fun. But I need to talk about something that is equally integral to this title, and that is the . While there is very little in the way of text, the smut is bountiful, and we see all manner of BDSM and kink represented. I'd say the sex is the vehicle for the overall theme of the work, but man, is it one sexy ride. If you look for lots of smut in your reads, this will sate you, no doubt. We get some hetero, sapphic, and, of course, mm rep, and I love all of it. Sex and are essential elements in this story, but the recognition and growth of one's identity are key.


This is amazing. I can't believe I haven't read anything from HamletMachine before, but better late than never. This was a joy to explore, so much so that I got the digital and the physical version of this title. It's a work of art I'm honored to have on my shelves. If you can handle the religious iconography and the darkness that comes with that, then I definitely think you should give this a shot. It tickled my academic side as well as my degenerate side, and I appreciate it. Can't wait to explore what else there is to see in their other titles.

Have you read Lucifer's Garden? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!

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