Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review: Hellraiser Volume 1 - Pursuit of the Flesh (2011)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Writers: Clive Barker and Christopher Monfette
Artists: Leonardo Manco and Stephen Thompson
Publisher: BOOM Studios

Picking up after the second movie, this comic series makes quick work of shunning every movie after the sequel and creating its own epic story line. Having Clive Barker along for the ride helps in establishing ties to the movies and making it seem as if this was the direction Mr Barker had always intended.

Twenty plus years on from the first movie, we are reintroduced to Kirsty Cotton who is now hunting down all of Lemarchand’s devices and destroying them to prevent the Cenobites from ever crossing over to our world. Meanwhile, Pinhead has become disillusioned with his station in hell and wants to become human again. He launches a plan that could grant him the forgiveness of heaven or the eternal damnation of hell.

It’s an interesting set up and actually answers many questions that were left hanging after the first two movies. Yes there are other devices that can summon Cenobites, yes there are other types of Cenobites not just ones addicted to pleasure and pain, and finally there is a heaven even though getting to it seems pretty hard. Very smartly this comic gives information to the readers to get them on the hook.

We get to really get into the head of Pinhead this time through.

Barker and Monfette really do weave together a compelling world with some interesting characters, especially those that have joined Kirsty in trying to destroy the gateway to hell. Unfortunately for the strength of the writing the art is a little bit of a let down. I’ve seen worse but it just seems rather rough to my eyes. However coming from a small comic publisher with a franchise that people wouldn’t exactly be jumping to be a part of, it’s no wonder the art lacks a bit.

People who love the Hellraiser films should give this comic series a chance. It hits all the right notes and expands on the world in leaps and bounds. Some may feel that it is a bit lacking due to all the set up but for me there was just this promise of big things to come. An excellent beginning.

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