Lilith And Mick Story In ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Explained: Did Mick Find The Washer Woman?

The DC/Vertigo comics draw significant inspiration from world mythology, adding an intriguing layer to their stories. DC has borrowed elements from Greek mythology, such as the Olympian gods and the Amazons, while also incorporating Lucifer from Christian theology. Similarly, Vertigo has drawn from Sumerian and Jewish mythology with Lilith and Inuit beliefs with Sedna. This amalgamation of mythological elements appeals to readers who appreciate the ability to draw parallels and explore these rich cultural narratives through the lens of their favorite fandoms. The incorporation of mythologies from diverse cultures into the DC universe taps into our innate fascination with these ancient tales. It allows readers to delve deeper into the stories, recognizing familiar elements and drawing connections, ultimately fostering a greater appreciation for the mythological roots behind these stories.


Spoilers Ahead

Who is Lilith?

In the DCverse, Lilith is portrayed as a supernatural being often considered a demonic figure, but in the series, Lilith is portrayed more as a righteous figure, a goddess for helpless women. In Abrahamic theology (which is also quite sexist), Lilith was the first woman who was created alongside Adam, the first man. When asked to obey Adam and the ‘Heavenly Father,’ Lilith rebelled and was cast out from the Garden of Eden. People of the Abrahamic faith consider Lilith to be an antagonistic figure, but again, we can only wonder what’s wrong with speaking up against one’s oppressors. It is said that after her exile, Lilith roamed the earth and later joined forces with Lucifer Morningstar, the fallen angel, in a revolution against God and lost. 


The series Dead Boy Detective does more justice to her character, however. Truth be told, Lilith had indeed been wronged by an oppressive power for wanting equal rights. Perhaps it was this feeling of being wronged that made her stand up for other women who, too, have been wronged and are in helpless situations. From where I see it, Lilith seems more like a feminist icon interested in showing solidarity for the woes of women and embracing womanhood than a demon. Although Lilith, the goddess of wronged women and blood magic, is more popular among witches, adding a layer of eeriness to her depiction.  

How is Lilith associated with Esther?

Lilith’s association with Esther is revealed to Crystal and Niko by the Cat King when they approach him for his help with defeating Esther. Cat King reveals that Esther, after becoming a witch and killing her husband, had become corrupted by her newfound powers. Esther was also obsessed with her beauty, and in search of immortality, she summoned Lilith and asked her to grant her the same. Even though Lilith did grant Esther her wish, the young witch could still get old and would ultimately become a living skeleton. Enraged, Esther denounced her faith in Lilith and started sacrificing young girls to maintain her youthful appearance. 


Why did Lilith kill Esther?

Previously, when Crystal tried to look inside Esther’s mind, she found Lilith sleeping under the sea. Crystal figures out later that Esther’s powers had been granted by Lilith herself. Moreover, it is said that worshippers are supposed to pray to an image of Lilith to talk to her. During Crystal’s final fight with Esther, she enters her mind again and talks to Lilith directly. She prays to the goddess to stop Esther from killing hundreds of young girls just to maintain her own youth. As expected of the goddess of wronged women, once Charles kills Esther’s snake, Lilith appears and drags Esther away, ultimately implying that she killed her, as nobody escapes the wrath of the goddess. 

Lilith cannot undo the wrongs committed by Esther, but she can prevent the witch from doing further damage, which is why she complies with Crystal’s request and brings the witch to justice for the countless crimes she committed against young girls. Esther believed that Lilith had tricked her by granting her wish, but for a goddess, it does seem that she knew what Esther was up to. The power of gods should never be possessed by a human. 


What is Tragic Mick’s story?

Tragic Mick is a middle-aged man running a shop that sells magic trinkets and artifacts in the town of Port Townsend. Tragic Mick claims to be a walrus trapped in the body of a man, which the Dead Body Detectives initially think is just the delusion of an eccentric man. It is only later that they find out that he isn’t lying when he tells them about the story of how he was born.

Tragic Mick reveals himself to be the child of Sedna, the goddess of sea and marine life in Inuit folklore. Long ago, Sedna was just a girl traveling on a boat with her father when a storm raged in. Her father, believing that the gods would let him go if he sacrificed his daughter, pushed Sedna off the boat. Sedna grabbed onto the boat, but her father sliced her fingers, causing her to drown in the sea. In turn, the gods turned Sedna into a goddess, and each of her slit fingers became a walrus. One of these Walruses was Tragic Mick, who always yearned for more despite Sedna taking care of them. Mick was drawn by the ways of humans and wanted to explore the world, but Sedna warned him that he would be banished if he left for the land. Despite the warnings, Mick left for the land, and Sedna turned him into a human. 


Why has Tragic Mick been looking for the Washer Woman?

Tragic Mick has always wanted to return to his old life and regrets leaving in the first place. He believes the Washer Woman might know how to turn him into a walrus again but has been unable to find her whereabouts. When Niko mentions having met the Washer Woman, Mick becomes hopeful. To help his case, Niko reveals that she saw her through a sea glass and offers a sea glass to Mick. 

How does Tragic Mick help Crystal and the boys?

Tragic Mick, despite his comic personality, is an associate of both Esther and the Dead Boy Detectives. Mick helps Crystal and the boys solve their supernatural cases, as he has a plethora of knowledge. Mick also condemns killing, and that can be seen when he advises the boys to refrain from killing Angie, the sea monster. He prefers that they make her go to sleep instead and gives them an enchanted music box to help the monster sleep. Before Crystal and Niko’s final fight with Esther, he gives Niko a totem for good luck. Tragic Mick wanted to repay the kindness Niko had shown him and hoped that the totem would save her life. Even when Niko dies, it is perhaps Mick’s enchanted Totem that makes her survive as a sprite. 


Tragic Mick is certainly a very interesting character in this series. Mick’s story had been a tragic one and contributed to his name. Mick was once a curious walrus who was fascinated by humans, but once he lost what he had, he immediately wanted to go back. Tragic Mick had indeed a lot to learn from humans as well, and through his expertise in magic, he certainly helped a lot of people as well. 

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Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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