Review: Hellraiser issue 1 Leather, Sex and Flesh…Yeah, Clive Barker is Back

Leather, Sex and Flesh…Yeah, Clive Barker is Back

Hellraiser Issue 1

Written by Clive Barker and Christopher Monfette, Art by Leonardo Manco, Colors by Charlie Kirchoff and Letters by Travis Lanham.

Hellraiser is back in all its creepy, sex, leather clad glory.  Yet make no mistakes as Hellraiser isn’t just sex and leather but a story with complex emotions and plot.  This is not a book for the faint of heart and mind, only the pure of heart will not be changed by this book.

Hellraiser issue 1 sets a terrifying pace right from the get-go.  The establishing shot creates the mood of hopelessness and isolation with its depiction of a rundown farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.  A prisoner begs for help from her voyeur’s captors and the only help she receives is in the form of the all to familiar box.  The woman opens the mystery box, and this is where the reader is introduced to Pinhead and his cenobites.  The woman is brutally murdered by Pinhead and her body is disposed of by her captor(s) who are worshippers of Pinhead.  The story takes some interesting turns when Pinhead returns to Hell and requests to return to Earth but not the way he usually goes.  Also, there is the return of a certain family which goes back to the beginning of Hellraiser and has some serious connections to Pinhead and the box.

As for the tone of the book, it fits right in line with previous Hellraiser stories as well as the films.  The book relies heavily on the sexual overtones as well as the leather fetish S&M imagery.   There is no lack of brutal deaths and grotesque dead bodies.   At no point does any imagery overpower the story  or feels forced rather it sets the bizarre, creepy and terrifying mood of the book.

What sets this version of Hellraiser apart from its previous incarnations is that this story has a serialized plot.  In past comic encounters of Hellraiser, it has been short vignettes of creepy tales of revenge, sex and mutilation.  Many of the vignettes featured Pinhead and other familiar faces in the Hellraiser mythos but had no connection to one another.  Hellraiser from Boom Studios delivers on the serialized format as well as the creepy, terrifying storytelling.  This book also succeeds at allowing a reader with no previous experience with Hellraiser to jump right in.

Art wise, Leonardo Manco captures the terrifying nature of Hellraiser.  He is able to depict the blank emotionless stare of Pinhead that helped to make the character horrific.  Hell is rendered so well, it will leave the reader a bit disturbed by its evil architecture and interesting use of dead bodies as décor.



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This book is a must buy for Hellraiser fans and horror fans alike.  If you are daring and up for a dark journey then this is a must buy as well.

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