Review: Hellraiser #11

“The Box of Sorrows” continues to emanate ghastly sighs in the latest issue of Hellraiser, and, once again, they hum a haunting symphony of pain and lust. Kirsty continues her reign as High Priestess of the Configuration, and Captain Elliot Spencer continues to seek its destruction. Except, now, protocol has become obsolete, and even the highest levels of intuition won’t help either of them. Read on for the skinny…

hell11 WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker, Robb Humphreys, Mark Miller
ART BY: Janusz Ordon, Stephen Thompson
PUBLISHER: BOOM!
RELEASE: Out Now

Witness Clive Barker’s long-awaited return to tell new chapters in the series’ official continuity—a trajectory that will forever change the Cenobites…and Pinhead! In this issue…the sense-shattering new reality of Hellraiser is here! It’s a fresh start for Kirsty Cotton and Pinhead. There are no rules! No one is safe! Clive Barker’s changing the way you look at HELLRAISER so don’t miss this new chapter in horror history!

Hellraiser #11 opens with a loud, brilliant CRASH!, and then immediately cuts to the quiet cityscape – the land of the Box, menacingly splattered black against a molten orange horizon. Here, in the darkness, Kirsty and the Cenobites are called by the box once again. Only this time, the Priestess makes an executive decision that angers the demonic forces who guide them all in their quest for pain and pleasure. Meanwhile, on a more earthly plane, Elliot Spencer recalls some crucial information about his previous life, leading his new comrades and himself to a distant land in pursuit of another box: the one that originally hurled him into the Configuration. Every page is fluidly tied together, yet they each stand out on their own. Stephen Thompson and Janusz Ordon continue to bring the story to life with their dimensional characters and meticulous attention to details on the page. As usual, the passion for this series shows on every page; there is not a single ink stroke out of place.

I can’t even begin to describe how absolutely brilliant this series is. Every month, this is the one comic that I look forward to the most. Every time I gaze at a new cover, or let a new book within millimeters of my fingertips, I am immediately brought back to the first time I experienced the world of the box. Clive Barker’s original novel on the Cenobites, The Hellbound Heart, was my first “grown-up” horror novel. Now that I look back on it, it was probably not something that the average 9-year-old should be reading. Then again, I wasn’t particularly average – well, I was, but I had a high reading level and an enduring love for literature that my peers could not fulfill. So, not giving a single shit, I sat on the stoop at school, reading about the Lament Configuration and indivisible pains and pleasures, while everyone else played kickball and derped out.

If you haven’t checked out this series yet, then you need to do so. Right now. Clive Barker has brought Hellraiser back to its glory days – before any of this Hellraiser: Revelations nonsense, when there was just Clive Barker, projecting his highly intelligent, compelling ideas to the masses through print and film. And now, we have a visually stunning, masterful continuation from BOOM! Studios, that I’m sure will continue to tickle our obsessive little fancies for a long time.