Review: ‘Hellraiser’ #20 The Final Issue

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As Hellraiser #20 marks the final issue, everything comes down to an epic confrontation between good and evil. After the stream of forgettable sequels that have plagued the “Hellraiser” franchise, Clive Barker comes back to the helm and remains true to his original vision of terror. Readers get to see Barker’s vision come full circle as every major player takes part in the battle against Pinhead.

WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Mark Miller
ART BY: Janusz Ordon, Jesús Hervás, and Tom Garcia
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: November 21st, 2012

After manipulating Kirsty into taking his place at Hell’s throne, Pinhead had plans of remaking the world in his own image. As Pinhead gained more power, earth found itself in the midst of a nuclear attack. With the unexpected help of the Leviathan, Kirsty discovered an important clue that could ultimately stop Pinhead. Elsewhere, Harry D’ Amour, the occult private eye from Everville, and The Female Cenobite are the last chance of humanity surviving this supernatural war. With all the players set in place, can anyone of them succeed in defeating the unstoppable Pinhead?

Barker and co-writer, Mark Miller bring in all the major players for the final showdown. Kirsty is back to her feisty attitude, destined to fight Pinhead to the death. But perhaps more interesting is the Female Cenobite, a minor character to start, who has come to developed a great deal over the course of the comic series. She started as Pinhead’s faithful servant, but now she wants to deliver the final blow to his master plan.

This is the kind of all-out battle you wish was up on the big screen. With the stakes high and no room for failure, how will this team of anti-heroes defeat Pinhead, who has always been one step ahead? The last pages give readers something to look forward to in the next “Hellraiser” series, “The Dark Watch”.

Harry looks great as a comic book character but I would have preferred he looked like his counterpart, actor Scott Bakula. After watching Lord of Illusions, I always thought Bakula did such a terrific job as Harry. When I read Harry’s sarcastic lines, I’m still picturing how Bakula would deliver the dialogue. I would definitely like to see Barker use more of Harry D’ Amour in the upcoming “Dark Watch” series; maybe give him a new private eye case.

Artists Janusz Ordon, Jesús Hervás, and Tom Garcia have done a fantastic job delivering the climatic pages of Pinhead’s revenge-fueled rampage. In the middle of the ocean, a giant-sized Pinhead attempts to destroy Kirsty, Harry, and The Female Cenobite. As the enormous waves come crashing down, Pinhead attempts to crush his enemies with his gigantic hand.

“Hellraiser” #20 is a satisfying conclusion that closes up a few story threads and leaves some open-ended. I became a fan after reading Christopher Monfette’s eloquent and stylish dialogue in the first issue. Like many, I was caught by surprise when Pinhead defeated Kirsty and tricked her into taking his place in Hell. I kept on reading when Harry D’ Amour was brought into the mix. Though this is the last issue of the “Hellraiser” series, this is not the end of Pinhead and Kirsty Cotton. Barker still has some sights to show you, which is reason enough to be excited about “The Dark Watch” in 2013.

Rating: 4.5/5 skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis

  • ShadowJayd

    Great review as always, Jorge. Though I can’t help but mention the writer flub concerning Mark Millar. As awesome as he is, it’s actually Mark Miller who writes for Hellraiser.

    • Lonmonster

      Ugh, my bad. Rushed editing.

    • JorgeSolis

      Thanks ShadowJayd!

    • ScarecrowX

      It was Christopher Monfette who wrote the first eight issues before he got replaced. At about the point it started going really downhill.

      This finale was awful. Most of the characters stand around doing nothing. Why Elliot’s incestuous daughter being killed has any impact is totally unexplained.

      I used to think HR3 was bad. But we’ve gone from dark gothic horror in a small house with morally ambiguous characters to a giant warship on the sea being attacked by a Giant Electric Space Ghost Pinhead who wants to (Bwhhhaaaha) take over the world or something. Stuff continues to just happen without explanation, characters sort of stand there and make vague cryptic references and uninteresting people stand around in bars chatting. And it’s all re-set at the end anyway as a “hoax”. Never seen a comic go downhill so quickly!

  • Evan3

    Any word on whether they will collect this in a TPB?

    • Lonmonster

      Yep, it should be out in a few months.

      • Evan3

        Thanks @Lonmonster… but will I need to solve the Lament Configuration to read it?!