The Hellbound Web
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Clive Barker's Hellraiser #4:
Pursuit of the Flesh, Part Four
Review by Scarecrow

Clive Barker Hellraiser Cover B
The Hellbound Web is proud to present a review for Boom! Studios new Hellraiser comic series, written by Clive Barker himself, alongside Chris Monfette, with art by Stephen Thompson. This review was written August 2011.

And here we are. It's taken four issues but finally Pinhead and Kirsty Cotton once again find themselves face to face. The dynamic of this issue is about reaching this point, following the journey as Kirsty seeks to avenge the death of her lover, an action that seemingly acts as bait to bring her into contact with Hell's Black Pope.

The background of the Harrowers from the previous issue plays well into this new release. Each of the characters feels more rounded and capable of carrying aspects of the story. The use of older mystical Harrower devices seems to echo back to the classic interpretations of the characters form the EPIC days, as well as evoking some of Barker's own literary works. The interaction they have with kirsty was dynamic, and each characters personality seemed more distinct and defined.

Also evocative of the old EPIC comics is the underground community of the homeless, led by a 'king' and his son. This side story is quite a delight for old school fans, but also feels akin to the communities that occur in Barker's work, such as Imajica. The solving of the Box, or the accidental opening which seems a more apt description, seems not as well defined, and the massacre that's unleashed is visually delightful but perhaps a little at odds with the tone of the first two films, which this comic claims as its inspiration.

tattoo

The destruction of the subway train is a striking image, but somehow lacks that personal touch. It feels akin to the slaughter Pinhead dishes out in the controversial third film, rather than the more personal images of suffering and torment seen previously. However, it is visually superb, and leads to a dark revelation of how determined and damaged Kirsty has become.

This brings us then, to the confrontation we have spent four issues waiting for. Kirsty meets Pinhead and, in the process of doing so, saves another soul. Whilst the intention may not be there, the sequence could easily follow events in Hellseeker, as much as the originals, with Pinhead once again delighting in the darkness that has overcome his adversary. However, the talk of salvation is an interesting twist that offers some intrigue for how things will develop with time.

“Pursuit of the Flesh Part Four” steps up events, and develops the relationship of Pinhead and Kirsty in natural ways that suggests almost a weariness and determination from both of them. The cliffhanger works because we care about those involved, and the mystery of where this is leading to remains an intriguing one. Whilst there are some small reservations, that we have expressed, overall, this has been the strongest issue to date and we award it a well deserved Five Hooks out of Five. Next issue soon please!


The Hellbound Web would like to thank Boom! Studios for the oppurtunity to be a part of this exciting time for Hellraiser fans everywhere. Also make sure to check out our review for the free Prelude Issue "At the Tolling of a Bell" which is FREE to DOWNLOAD from this very site! Clive Barker's Hellraiser #4 is available now.
- Scarecrow

Boom! Studios Official Website


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