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Kristy Cotton’s got a posse. In the last issue Kristy was given an envelope of very useful information pertaining to an artifact that opens one of the gateways to hell. It’s a music box in the shape of a carousel. She calls together her team of survivors and they must decide whether to pursue the artifact which is clearly a trap set for them.
They have a discussion and it’s determined that regardless of the outcome they need to get the artifact. They gear up and break into the house containing it and tie up the family inside. They’re not there to hurt them just to destroy the gateway before they accidently open it themselves. They pray and perform the ceremony before opening the gate intentionally. Once they do two creatures come out of the portal to hell, one half-man and half-centipede the other a glass-looking spider. From there it’s up to the team to destroy them and close the access point for good.
The story remains very interesting as this issue essentially switches over to Kristy’s side of the story. The make-up of her team is also interesting as it consists of a Priest that no longer has faith and $1,000 dollar a night call girl. Barker and Monfette take the dialog heavy opening and present it in any interesting way as the story goes around the table with each character taking a turn to talk, but keeps your interest while doing so. Pinhead isn’t heavily involved in this story, but the little bit he is is very rewarding. Barker and Monfette manage to reveal just enough of the mystery sorrounding the issue, without alienating the audience.
The art really shines is this issue. Again the round-table discussion is made interesting because artist Leonardo Manco gives each character a lot of personality while they're talking. He also uses different angles and range of close ups for each character so it doesn’t just look like a talking head. Other writer’ and artists could really take a cue from this issue. Manco also does a great job of bringing the gore and action to the book as well. The half-man, half-centipede is particularly chilling and captures the world of Hellraiser perfectly.
This is another surprisingly good second issue. Usually when a series starts off as strong as this one did it takes a tumble in the second issue so as to set up the world and back story. Not with Hellraiser though, it keeps it’s mystery but gives enough to the readers so that they’re not lost in the dark. Also with lines like, “Kristy Cotton, mean and rotten, gone to hell, but not forgotten” how can you not love this book. This is another great release from Barker and Boom! Studios and definitely the book Hellraiser fans have been waiting for.
Overall Score – 9.7/10
*You may want to read the first issue before diving into this one, but you can start with this issue as well*
You can still download the prelude to this story arc here!