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Update: All the kinks have been worked out and you can now download the file here!
Clive Barker returns to Hellraiser with the first issue of
the brand new series from Boom! Studios. This is only the third time Clive has
actually laid hands on the issue so it’s kind of a big deal. Pinhead is after
all one of the most recognizable characters in movies, not just the horror
genre. Everyone has seen him at one point in their lives and along the way
Pinhead and Hellraiser became watered down like a lot of horror franchises.
The first thing to know about is the eight page free prelude to
the series. This is only available on the net and will not be seen again until
the series is collected. That being said you need to jump on it. We’re experiencing
technical difficulties at press time so we’ve included an external link for you
to download it from with the hope that we can fix the problem so you can get it
directly from us. In the meantime feel free to share the link and download it
as much and as often as you’d like.
As for the story… it’s good. We start off in Nebraska as a
young girl is trapped down what looks like an old Shiloh. She is scared and
screaming, but also being watched by a man with a camera. The man turns the
lights on in the room in which she is being kept and she sees the Lemarchand’s box sitting in front
of her. As she touches it a doorway opens and Pinhead and his “crew” appear
behind the girl. She screams for home which only serves to annoy Pinhead. He
picks up the box and unleashes the chains on her killing her and stripping her
of her flesh. Pinhead leaves saying that he requires something more of the man
how brings him victims.
They return to their own dimension and the Lady brings
Pinhead news from above. A meddler and her group have successfully destroyed
the Music Box and sent two of their order into the Abyss. Pinhead is amused by
this since the “meddler” is the only thing that surprises him anymore. He walks
to the forbidden mouth piece of Oblivion to make a deal within. The Lady warns
him and asks him not to go in, in her own way she says that no good can come of
Pinhead enters anyways since his life is a torture that has
become boring. Inside he plays a twisted organ made of bodies. He requests an
audience with Leviathan and League. He is denied his audience, but the organ
will hear out his offer. Pinhead wishes to invoke the accord which gives him
the chance to return as a man and seek the redemption of heaven!
I will say that I’m not a huge Clive Barker fan; I am
familiar with his work and respect what I know about it. There are two things I
understand though: 1) Comics and 2) That a creator return to a series and
characters after such a long absence is very, very important.
That being said I really liked this book and hate saying
that it has something for everyone, but it really does. First time readers will
be treated to a very complete story that has a strong three part structure.
People more familiar with the Hellraiser series will get the same experience
with a little bit of chills when older characters are brought up. Die-hards are
sure to get everything they want out of this story and be left waiting for
The issue was mainly dialog, but Barker and Christopher
Monfette do a wonderful job (there’s a horrific pun in there somewhere) of
crafting interesting and enthralling dialog. They do a great job of capturing
the characters and I do mean ALL of the characters. This is truly one comic
that reads like a movie. I will say that at least in my understanding, Barker clarifies that Pinhead is indeed in Hell and not just from a demonic dimension.
The art is very different, especially different from
anything else put out by Boom! It works to give the world a gritty real feel
that is horrific (there it is) to look upon. Artist Leonardo Manco is a very
strong visual storyteller and the perfect choice for this project. His gore was
not too over the top, but just enough to make the scene gruesome.
It’s worth noting that there is a sixteen page special at
the back of the issue reprinting an older Hellraiser comic that will be
collected into Hellraiser Masterpieces. The backup story is actually very good
and fits the new story. With a few exceptions in the art the story really
stands the test of time. It made me interested in finishing the story and gave
me a little of what to expect from the reprinted collection.
If you’re a fan or horror movies or comics this issue is a
no brainer. In fact you’ll probably won’t to collect all five covers and to
that I say… good luck! There are two covers each by Tim Bradstreet and Nick
Percival with a rare cover by Clive Barker himself. I enjoyed the issue a lot.
It’s great to have a good horror book in comics and even better to have it be a
known horror franchise. Rest assured the characters and story are being handled
very well and I’m sure the world is waiting to see what’s in store next for Pinhead
Overall Score – 9.5/10