Saturday, November 2, 2013

Comic Review: Hellraiser #18 (Epic Comics)

Hellraiser #18

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing: In an unlikely turn of an events, a Cenobite by name of Draleba refuses to take the beautiful Esioleh to Hell when she solves the requisite puzzle.  Why?  Because he has defied his demonic nature and fallen in love with her.  In some ways, this story echoes the tale in the previous issue, although the circumstances behind a Cenobite not returning to Hell with the soul he was sent to retrieve are different.  It was a much more interesting story last time, though this one is not without its merits.  The artwork is almost photo-realistic, which is fine, however it makes the sound effects and word balloons seem very out of place.

The Harrowers Part 2 - Insurrection: With Bunny Benedict a prisoner in Hell, the goddess Morte dispatches her Harrowers to rescue her.  The Cenobites won't give her up too easily, though, and the General constructs a Frankenstein Monster of demonic parts called The Furiae to defeat them.  The battle is brief, but the Harrowers are victorious.  Morte is fully freed from her tomb and the Furiae takes her place, one of the Harrowers lost to battle it for eternity, and a Cenobite--against all odds--dies a true death, and on its home turf, no less.  And Pinhead, for one, is not happy.

The artwork is well done but laid out with such manic intensity that it is often difficult to ascertain what is actually happening on the page and in what order.  It does produce a few killer full-page spreads, though, including Pinhead in all his raging glory.  With this second entry in the new storyline, a few of the sillier notions become more clear--Vera's saliva is like acid to the Cenobites, so much of her time in battle is spent hawking loogies on demons; Lucinda and Lavinia have a spiritual guide of sorts named Ovid, who appears in the form of a cherub and is "miasmic"--meaning that he farts a lot, and the stench disorients their opponents; Winston Gage has a pet kitten with whom he can swap spots with at will; and Ron Ringwood, well...Ron has hair like Vanilla Ice.  'Nuff said.  Can the horror overcome the absurdities?

Only time will tell.


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