Friday, November 1, 2013

Comic Review: Hellraiser #9 (Epic Comics)

Hellraiser #9

Closets: This is a pretty disturbing story about cycles of abuse, how it carries over from one generation to the next.  A young boy, locked in the closet by his mother, finds the puzzle box and disappears.  His mother is ashamed and regretful, and she goes looking for him.  She finds him in the care of the Cenobites, and although they are willing to release him, she is not so lucky.  We quickly learn that although the boy is free from the Cenobites, that does not mean that he is free from Hell.  Pretty damn good, and succinctly told.

The Tontine: Another deliciously twisted tale about a group of soldiers who routinely evade death during wartime.  Once the war is over, they are still addicted to the rush, so they meet up once a year for a game of Russian roulette, played until there is one less member to attend the next meeting.  Dark and depressing, but not without its own shadowy beauty.

Devil's Brigade Part 4 - Shoot High, Break Low:  An African-American male police officer and his Caucasian female partner are chosen to be a part of a special task force to help end racial tensions in Philadelphia.  They each have their informants, but even those informants are getting their information from somewhere.  Namely, Atkins, the soldier Cenobite.  There is no sense of fear or suspense here, and I find Atkins to be a ridiculous Cenobite (but he is definitely a product of the decade this story comes from.  Think of him as Cable of the X-Universe, but from the past instead of the future).  When the story ends, it just...ends, without much having happened.

Devil's Brigade Part 5 - Passion: A beautiful scientist seeking the cure for AIDS is willing to do almost anything to get the resources that she needs, even if it means sleeping with the sleazy research director who has the power to grant her the laboratory time that she requires.  He has been toying with the puzzle box, however, and calls forth Pinhead himself.  Pinhead offers him a job in Hell, strips him of his skin, and puts it on like a cheap suit, just as the the scientist shows up to exchange favors for favors.  The artwork is sketchy and unpolished, though it does occasionally have its charms.  I wish the same could be said for this story, which again ends before much of anything happens.


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