Friday, November 1, 2013

Comic Review: Hellraiser #6 (Epic Comics)

Hellraiser #6

Original Sin: A young boy whose favorite toy is the puzzle box refuses to play with anything else, worrying his mother with his obsession.  The boy's father, an abusive drunk, couldn't care less.  When the child manages to open the puzzle box, two female Cenobite sisters come forth to take him.  His mother follows them into Hell, the love for her child infinitely stronger than any fear she might have.  It's interesting but nothing spectacular, and is all a bit too ambiguous for my tastes.  The artwork looks like blurred color pencils, and the designs scream 1980s, although this issue was from the 1990s.

Prologue/Lingering/Hub's Nightmare: This story, told in three brief parts, involves a homosexual couple who move into a new apartment with a few strange features--a door leading to nowhere, and a strange jigsaw puzzle just begging to be put together.  While one obsesses over the puzzle, the other grows more and more frightened of the door, and the closer the puzzle gets to being solved, the more likely it seems that the door that leads to nowhere leads to somewhere indeed.  A cool little story of unspoken horrors that leaves you wondering just who it was that used to live in the apartment before them.

Tunnel of Love: This story is far too brief to really accomplish much of anything, but it would have been decent as a prologue to something greater.  An American soldier in Vietnam is dispatched into a tunnel to rack up an enemy body count--which he does easily enough--but is then unable to find his way out.  Cenobites appear, congratulating him on solving the puzzle of the tunnels, and saying that he can come with them willingly, or they can take him by force.  The soldier, of course, chooses the way of force.  The artwork is dark and sketchy, fitting enough for a violent war tale.  Atkins returns later in Cenobite form.  Even then, I'm not all that impressed.

The Trainer: This stupid story follows an abusive horse trainer who is given a magical stop watch by a wino, one which is supposed to increase the speed of any horse that it is timing.  He almost immediately breaks the watch, and when he puts it back together, the wino returns.  He is actually a Cenobite in disguise, and the broken watch was actually a puzzle to unleash Hell.  He is promised a position in the Cenobite army, but not until after his form is "re-ordered"...a painful process that involves flesh-hungry horses.  The artwork is mediocre, and even the most familiar Cenobites look completely off-model, although I must say that it was interesting if nothing else to see Pinhead coddling an infant.


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