Saturday, November 2, 2013

Comic Review: Hellraiser #16 (Epic Comics)

Hellraiser #16

Devil's Brigade Part 17 - Fury: With her AIDS research banned by the World Health Organization due to the controversy that it created in a previous entry, Dr. Gioeli is at a crossroads.  Does she continue working on her vaccine that can save millions of lives, or does she follow the rules and simply give up?  Visiting Dr. Fisher, a former coworker who has AIDS, Gioeli illegally offers him the vaccine for a human trial.  The results are quite positive, so Gioeli pulls a little slight-of-hand maneuver to sneak her vaccine into mass production.  It's just too bad that she didn't wait long enough to find out about the side effects...  Another mediocre entry in this tedious, overlong storyline.  This issue promises to bring the whole thing to a close, though, and then hopefully the series can get back on track.

This, I Saw: This is something of a prelude chapter to a new ongoing storyline called The Harrowers.  Here, a young native boy is sent into the wilderness as part of a coming-of-age ritual, and he consumes a hallucinatory medicine that brings him visions of an ancient entry in the Hellraiser franchise.  Goddess Morte Mamme is buried in a pit by Hell's minions, in order to inhibit her powers.  This pit is the only direct route to Earth from Hell, and by doing this, they are sacrificing their ability to freely travel between the two.  Mamme's tribe of followers, the Harrowers, are locked in a stone room with a particularly Saw-like puzzle to solve.  Mamme is still a prisoner beneath the Earth, but the story is to be continued, ending with the prophecy: "One day another six shall come to wage war on the God of Many Points.  For even the strong can be taken, and even mortals may play a part in the battle against the Dark One."

Devil's Brigade Part 18 - Reckoning: The Devil's Brigade stand trial in the infernal courtroom--all except for Pinhead, who has mysteriously gone AWOL.  Many believe that Pinhead, once the favored-son of Hell, has become a traitor to the cause, but he arrives in typical dramatic fashion to declare that although it may appear that he has failed in his mission, the failure is an illusion that will only serve to strengthen Hell's power.  There are some interesting things on display here, like the courtroom weighing the hearts of the Cenobites against the weight of a pile of eyeballs (a bastardized version of the ancient Egyptian myth of weighing the heart against a feather to decide a soul's final resting place).  The morbidly obese Cenobite Griot was a cool addition to the line-up, tattooing his endless flesh with Hell's History as it is being written, like a living grimoire.  It's too bad that it doesn't appear he will be making a return appearance...


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