Hellraiser has always been a favorite of mine. The book, Hellbound Heart, and the film series in general have been amazing. Only the last couple of entries haven’t been as good, but the series is still very strong. It introduced us to the feared and grotesque Cenobites and of course Pinhead; who has become a horror icon. And let’s not forget the Lament Configuration (the puzzle box) which opens the doors to hell and calls forth the Cenobites. I love Hellraiser so much that I own the toys, the movies, soundtracks and of course the comics.
There were the older Hellraiser comics – which were cool and made for an adult audience (well generally speaking Clive Barker doesn’t write for kids, or the squeamish!) and they were pretty good. But there hadn’t been anything for a while, and Barker himself sort of left the entire franchise for a bit too.
So when Boom finally released a new line of Hellraiser comics, written by Barker (and other assistant writers) I was super excited, and boy oh boy was it worth the wait.
The first series, simply titled Hellraiser, was all about Kirsty Cotton (star of the book and the first film) and Tiffany (from Hellbound: Hellraiser 2) going around destroying the puzzle boxes and any other Lemarchand puzzles that opened doorways into hell. In the meantime, Pinhead has become bored in his role of Pontifex, or high priest of hell, and he wants out. He plans on redeeming himself and strikes a deal with Leviathan to get out. Leviathan orders Pinhead to name a successor and Pinhead names Kirsty Cotton!
Long story short, Pinhead becomes human again (calling himself Elliot Spencer – his real name before he became a Cenobite) and Kirsty becomes the new Pinhead. I won’t give much more away – this alone should be enough for you to pick up the series. If you are a Hellraiser fan, this series is a must.
The second series was called: Hellraiser: The Road Below. This was more about Kirsty and her role as High Priestess. If you liked Hellraiser then this too is a must read – it’s a fast 4 issue miniseries that leads directly into Hellraiser: The Dark Watch – which features a full out battle for hell and has one kick ass conclusion.
I won’t give away any more information on the series, but trust me, it’s a must read. I will mention a few points that may be of interest.
First off, it pretty much ignores Hellraiser 3, most of Hellraiser Bloodlines (it keeps the Lemarchand stuff) and the other Hellraiser movies don’t really apply since they take part outside of the Kirsty storyline. Hellseeker is also ignored. So it basically continues from Hellraiser 2.
Tiffany is back and she is a wicked character. All grown up and she sees Kirsty as a mother/sister figure. Kirsty has a husband too, and Harry D’Amour (who was in Lord of Illusions – he’s a private detective) is also a main character later on, and even becomes Pinhead at one point!
The art was fantastic. They portrayed hell beautifully and the Cenobites are right out of the films.
The series introduces the concept of different hell’s run by different people. Leviathan is NOT the only ruler!
All in all, this was a fantastic read and you should check it out if you are a casual fan or diehard fan of Hellraiser.
Next up is Hellraiser Bestiary – a 6 part anthology series – I have only started reading that one, but again it looks pretty darn cool!
Until next time,