Editor’s Note: Horror Enthusiast Stephanie Hayslip breaks down the latest Hellraiser: Dark Watch Volume into different sections for your reading pleasure.
Written By Brandon Seifert
Art By Jesus Hervas
We find Legate Spenser making his plans with Butterfield, now that the war is upon us. And although Legate was once human, he is not one to be trifled with in the dark realm. Confronted by others in this realm who don’t feel his human heritage has what it takes to control the hells, Legate must prove his dominance in this world, and over all the horrific things that dwell there.
The concepts of all the pieces in this book intrigue me, and this one definitely holds promise regarding what happens next in the story. The almost domestic conversation and tone between Legate and Butterfield is charming, even in Pinhead’s world there are quiet moments. Hell’s version of rocking chairs and lemonade on a front porch, planning your tasks for the day.
Something else that I also enjoy is the trope of simply proving someone wrong. By effectively displaying his dominance, Legate is showing those that may oppose him that even though he is human, even though he comes from a different heritage, does not mean he is less than. We all have a purpose in this world. Where you came from in order to reach your destiny is irrelevant.
SOMETHING TO KEEP US APART
Written By Clive Barker and Ben Meares
Art By Janusz Ordon
Ah, true love. The most beautiful, painful thing a person can experience. Clive Barker’s indelible ability to find the breath-catching romance in such a torturous setting only further why the “Hellraiser” series has endured.
Edgar Boyle loves one woman. That woman is Kirsty Cotton, former prey of Pinhead who has now become Pinhead herself. Nothing will keep him from his one true love, not death, not life, and certainly not hell. By tracking down a replica box, Edgar quickly realizes that his journey may take longer than he originally thought, but it’s all worth it to hold Kirsty in his arms once again.
I’m a sucker for an epic romance, and this story is no different when you get down to it. What you see is simply a tale of boy meets girl, girl takes over hell, boy dies and is reborn, boy goes after girl. You know, that old chestnut. No one walks the line of the pleasure and horror of love, lust and attraction like Barker, and in this story we are once again reminded why “Hellraiser” still has his claws sunk into our hearts.
DARK WATCH CHAPTERS 9-12
Written By Clive Barker and Brandon Seifert
Art By Tom Garcia
In the epic battle that “Dark Watch” has been leading up to, we are met with the “3 Pinheads” – Legate, D’Amour and Kirsty – as they both battle for dominance as well as the fate of mankind. With the legionnaires attacking Earth, and loved ones in danger, how will Kirsty and D’Amour come out on top?
This was a pretty epic tale to be sure, and a battle that kept me engaged throughout. I also feel like Barker’s writing and tone once again shines in his dialogue. What bothered me was how brief a character would be involved. As soon as a character signed on to fight, they would be dead with barely a punch thrown. People would defect on a whim, then defect back five minutes later, then be dead. I think this story could have done with a either fattening up character appearances so it didn’t seem like they were gone in the blink of an eye, or simply trim out the fat altogether.
Take the Rajeev character, for instance. Having been killed and brought back to life in previous chapters of “Dark Watch,” he follows his friends to hell to fight with Kristy. But then he decides eh, you know what, I’m gonna defect to the other side so I can get back at the guy who brought me back to life. Then, once his side begins to invade Earth, he defects back to defend his home country only to be beheaded 10 seconds later. As he dies, he says he is ready for everything to be over. Well, 20 seconds ago you weren’t, and 2 minutes ago you were fueled with nothing by vengeance, and in the end none of your goals were achieved. Not sure you had your goals straight, then.
In the end, we see our intrepid crew get returned to their human form, and Legate back to his old, classic self. But not without a price on Kirsty’s part. Just as with all of the Hellraiser series, there is always a price to pay. Is the outcome you seek worth it?
“Hellraiser: Dark Watch Chapters 9-12” are available through BOOM! Comics.