Taste the Darkness: When a young woman solves the puzzle box, the Cenobite that comes to take her away discovers that she doesn't meet the standard criteria--she isn't looking for something; she didn't obsessively seek out the box; she didn't struggle to open it; and she didn't willingly call forth the gates of Hell. But still, he can not return empty handed. It's a nice, quiet little story that I quite enjoyed. There's no element of horror here, but it fits nicely into the franchise, even making a casual mention of Kirsty from the first few films. Whirl-Jack, the Cenobite, actually seems like a pretty decent fellow when it comes down to it. He's got a little rockabilly vibe to him, too. I kinda like him.
The Harrowing Part One - Resurrection: The imprisoned goddess Mamme Morte (see last issue) proceeds to fulfill her prophecy by sending out six flies, which have fed upon her flesh, to collect six specially chosen people to become the Harrowers: motorcycle-riding tattoo artist Ron Ringwood; death row inmate Vera Wyshak; animal lover Winston Gage; beautiful English twins Lavinia and Lucinda (who count as one, of course); brilliant former-professor Dublin Morse; and public works employee Marty Sevenbirds. One-by-one, they are touched upon by Morte's flies in varying ways, and they all make haste to what will become their headquarters: Legs Benedicts' Egg Museuem in Joplin, Missouri (run by the aging Bunny Benedict)--situated directly above the goddess's grave. An earthquake opens up the Earth, exposing a staircase that leads to the puzzle room where her previous tribe of Harrowers met their fate. Upon solving the puzzle and releasing the goddess, each are given a purpose in life, a special ability, and a weapon made up of her power. Hell has six warriors of its own, though, and they are ready and waiting for the war to begin. This storyline looks as if it will have drastic implications for the Hellraiser world, and although it is definitely something new (never before have the Cenobites had anything close to real opposition), it might just be what is needed to breathe some new life into the franchise. Think of them as the Hellraiser equivalent of Nightmare on Elm Street's Dream Warriors. Already I am enjoying it much more than I did the convoluted and anti-climactic Devil's Brigade story. Unfortunately, this series is winding down, and the Harrowers have only a few more appearances here before branching out into their own series.