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Review: ‘Hellraiser: The Dark Watch’ #2

Hellraiser: The Dark Watch #2 explores its very own mythology while taking unexpected twists and turns. This is a bold and fresh step in reinventing Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser” franchise. For fans of Hellraiser 2: Hellbound, an old and unexpected face returns to the storyline.

WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Brandon Seifert
ART BY: Tom Garcia
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: March 20th, 2013

At the Channard Institute, young Tiffany never had much to say to the nurses who took care of her. Locked inside with a psychopath, Tiffany watched as Dr. Channard became obsessed with solving the puzzle box. Willing to do anything, Channard forced Tiffany to open the gates of Hell. After Kirsty Cotton rescued Tiffany from Pinhead, they started their own war against the Cenobites. Now older, Tiffany returns to her mission of closing Hell’s gates. With demons hot on her trail, Tiffany will soon meet with Elliot Spencer’s replacement, the new ruler of Hell’s throne.

Barker and co-writer, Brandon Seifert, have matured Tiffany in her new role, while taking aspects from Kirsty’s characterization. In the opening pages, Tiffany doesn’t hesitate when she executes a puzzle box collector in cold blood. Readers see Tiffany struggle with her leadership role in the group, “Harry’s Angels.” Tiffany has what it takes to fight the Cenobites, but there is so much she doesn’t understand about them. Because she doesn’t know who the big players are in Hell, Tiffany is leading her teammates to their deaths.

What I really enjoyed about this issue how Barker and Seifert used elements of private eye novels into this horror story. In these private eye novels, there is always the informant, the muscle, and the femme fatale. In a clever nod, Tiffany gets her information from a psychic, who drowns out the ghost’s whiny voices by watching a lot of television.

What I particularly liked is how artist Tom Garcia illustrates pivotal scenes from the “Hellraiser” sequel. This isn’t a shot-for-shot recreation but Garcia’s own twisted version of the movie. In the flashback, the narrative is told from Tiffany’s point-of-view. As an adult, Tiffany is reliving how her younger self encountered Pinhead’s wrath. In her new character design, Tiffany is wearing modern fashionable clothing that makes her look hip and stylish.

Garcia doesn’t hold back on the disturbing imagery. When one of Tiffany’s teammates encounters a skeletal demon, readers will see his insides in full glory. When the monster strikes, we see his guts flying in the air and blood splashing everywhere. The dying man is even holding onto his intestines as he lies flat on the floor.

“Hellraiser: The Dark Watch” #2 continues in a promising direction and ends with a shocker. With Seifert’s love for dialogue, Tiffany returns with a feisty attitude and this time, she always has something to say. Ending on a WTF teaser, I’m definitely interested in what’s going to happen next in the third issue.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis




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