Art By: Leonardo Manco
Colors By: Charlie Kirchoff
Lettering By: Travis Lanham
Edited By: Ian Brill
What a tease. Though I suspect that was the intention. Issue #1 of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser shows us Pinhead in a way we’re not used to seeing him. Bored with his existence, bitter that all of life’s greatest gifts are given to those that are too numb to appreciate them. Desperately trying to broker a deal, Pinhead is attempting to locate a successor to his position in Hell, in return, he’ll be assuming a human form. The recruitment of a familiar named Samuel appears to be integral to the plot. In Pinhead’s own words – Much death is to be asked, much blood will be spilled. The sexy introduction of a character named Kristy Cotton, suggests that she will be Pinheads newest target. Does he aim to make her his successor? Or will she end up just another victim, sentenced to eternal damnation in the pits of Hell? I guess we’ll have to wait for the series to progress before we’ll find out.
If the intention of this issue was to wet my appetite for this series of books, the mission has been accomplished. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for anything Clive Barker has touched, but Hellraiser has always been my favorite work of his. I’m not entirely sure how the story is going to play out, but the fact that the book successfully roped me in, with the limited amount of story that was revealed in issue #1 speaks volumes for both the writing ability of Barker and Monfette, and the gritty artwork by Leonardo Manco. The dialog seeps from the page in creepy way that immediately draws on the readers memory of Doug Bradley’s performance as Pinhead in the original Hellraiser films.
Needless to say, I’ll be venturing into the further issues of this series. The writing is smart enough so that it doesn’t suspect that the readers are troglodytes, and in this short first issue, there were already ample amounts of vicious brutality, blood soaked gore, and even a little bit of nudity. Everything a man could ask for in such a short experience. There are a lot of ways that Barker could take this story, it will be interesting to see what he ultimately decides. In any event, I’m excited to have Barker and the legendary Pinhead back in my life in one form or another.