The Hellbound Web
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Clive Barker's Hellraiser #5:
Requiem, Part One
Review by Scarecrow

Clive Barker Hellraiser Cover B
The Hellbound Web is proud to present a review for Boom! Studios new Hellraiser comic series, written by Clive Barker himself, alongside Chris Monfette, with art by Jesus Hervas. This review was written September 2011.

And so begins the second arc of the new Hellraiser series from Boom! Studios. Sort of. Tonally, this doesn't feel like the beginning of a new story, if anything this feels like it would be more suited as the conclusion of the previous narrative – the ending of this issue promises a changed game. A cynical view might be that a new arc was needed for the trade paper back. In addition, things seem to have moved a little fast. After a strong build up of characters, and a brief encounter with Pinhead and Kirsty, suddenly we find ourselves with many characters dead, and a definitive confrontation occurring. However, this is not to say the issue is not rewarding, and having addressed these concerns, we can move on to focus on game-changing narrative.

“Requiem Part One” is the confrontation we've been waiting for as Kirsty faces off against the original Cenobite quartet. Yes, Butterball makes a re-apperance as Pinhead's secret weapon, a wonderful cameo for fans of the character and explaining the baffling lack of any appearance previously. The twist here is not only that Kirsty has used the Harrowers rune to render them vulnerable to her attacks, but also that Pinhead is ready and willing to sacrifice those he loves dearest. Whilst the emotive resonance of this is effective, the dispatch of the others here does beg the question as to whether there was much point in resurrecting them from their Hellbound demise in the first place. However, the notion of sacrifice, and loss is a strong one, and here the story becomes entirely about placing Kirsty and Pinhead on equal footing.


tattoo

Kirsty suffers a lot here, and is driven to the point that she is willing to murder a human servant of Pinhead... something which perhaps echoes Hellseeker, as does Pinhead's talk of a “debt of souls”. Kirsty even waits in delivering a fatal blow to the Female to allow Pinhead some parting words, displaying a unity between the two, and genuine appreciation for his act of sacrifice. On that point, the stabbing of the vaginal throat wound both echoes Hellbound but feels perhaps thematically a little wrong at the hands of Kirsty... the rape symbolism is a little uncomfortable although the Female does survive to no doubt cause trouble in future.

This issue sees another new artist contributing to the series, and whilst some might criticise the style Jesus Hervas for its less realistic depiction of the characters, it has the benefit of a greater range of emotional expressions. “Requiem Part One” is a key moment of transition for the characters, and having every detail of the turmoil, conflicts and betrayals clear to see is of benefit. However, it is also fair to say that the likeness of Kirsty to Ashley Lawrence is sadly lacking at times, and it also somewhat undercuts the final reveal of Tiffany, who is not easily identifiable as the intended character. This said, these are smaller details and overall the artwork is strong and suited to the narrative beats of the story. Where this narrative will go next is difficult to say, but the ultimate fate of Kirsty will be something we await with baited breath. “Requiem Part One” gets things off to a fantastic start and deserves a strong Four Hooks out of Five.


The Hellbound Web would like to thank Boom! Studios for the oppurtunity to be a part of this exciting time for Hellraiser fans everywhere. Also make sure to check out our review for the free Prelude Issue "At the Tolling of a Bell" which is FREE to DOWNLOAD from this very site! Clive Barker's Hellraiser #5 is available now.
- Scarecrow

Boom! Studios Official Website


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