Saturday, November 2, 2013

Comic Review: Hellraiser #19 (Epic Comics)

Hellraiser #19

Roulette LeMarchand: Following the events of the Devil's Brigade storyline in Philadelphia, gang member Carlos flees from his rival Vito's gang into the tunnels beneath the city, where he spies an old man tinkering with a puzzle box.  The old man opens it just as Vito's boys show up, and they are painfully attacked by the chains of Hell.  Scooping up the box, Carlos mistakenly thinks that it is a weapon which can be used to defeat Vito's gang once and for all--and beyond that, to become the supreme leader of all the gangs in the city.  Carlos and Vito set up a meeting and they play a game of Russian Roulette, using the box as the handgun.  But no matter who wins, everybody is going to lose, because as one of the Cenobites says, "When you pray to darkness, it is darkness that answers."  A decent story, but still a far cry from the artistry and subtle strokes of genius that made me fall in love with this series a number of issues back.

In These Blue Depths Lie Hell: This story bounces between the year 1528 and the "modern day" of 1992.  In the former, a group of explorers are seeking a spiritual treasure, and in the latter another group is seeking material treasure.  Shared blood and shared sins lead the two to coalesce in some sort of nexus point where they are forced to do battle with the Cenobite Hunger.  Another okay story, but nothing to write home about; although there are a few pretty cool scenes, like where Hunger stretches a woman's mouth out to epic proportions, and he looks especially devious crouching over the body of another unconscious female.

Death, Where Is Thy Sting?: Another sea faring period piece here, opening up with the diary entry of Phillip Johnson, whose son Robert accidentally opened up a puzzle box and unleashed the Cenobite Fulgar.  In order to spare his children from Fulgar's grasp, Phillip strikes a bargain for he and his wife to be taken in their stead.  Fulgar was to return for them shortly, but they did not wait as they promised.  Instead the Johnsons jumped ass on a ship and hightailed it across the ocean.  Flash forward to the modern day, where Vera Wyshack of the Harrowers stumbles across the wife of Daniel Johnson, an ancestor of Phillip who has just recently disappeared after solving the puzzle box.  Using her goddess-given boomerang, Vera slices through reality and takes the two of them into a cozy little corner of Hell where Daniel and all of his ancestors are waiting to be rescued and reborn.  Despite my high hopes for the Harrowers, this was actually a pretty bad story.  Cenobite bees, and a demon beekeeper with a neck like a giraffe?  Come on, now.


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