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Review: ‘Hellraiser: The Dark Watch’ #8

“Hellraiser: The Dark Watch” #8 has the right balance of disturbing scares and dark humor. Clive Barker’s revisit to the “Hellraiser” franchise continues to make its stamp in the comic book medium. The last page brings in a new twist that readers will not expect.

WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Brandon Seifert
ART BY: Tom Garcia
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: Sept. 18th, 2013

Trapped as prisoners inside an orb, Kirsty Cotton and Elliot Spencer are at each other’s throat, destined to kill each other. Never giving up, Tiffany has been looking everywhere for her adoptive mother, but has failed many times to rescue Kirsty. After discovering that Harry D’Amour secretly knew Kirsty’s whereabouts, Tiffany doesn’t know if she can trust him anymore. With her demon-killing knife, Tiffany must follow an old enemy of Harry’s past straight into the depths of Hell. But if Tiffany successfully saves Kirsty from Hell, will she bring about the end of the world as well?

As the issues progressed, Barker and co-writer, Brandon Seifert, have developed Tiffany into a tough and rebellious heroine. Tiffany has become a major highlight of the “Dark Watch” series and her character arc continues to grow. Though I thought of Kirsty and Tiffany as having a “sister” relationship, I really liked how these writers have explored their mother/daughter relationship. Though they are not related by blood, Tiffany has never given up in her pursuit to rescue Kirsty. But will there be any rewards, a sense of satisfaction, when Tiffany does finally find her?

If you remember “Lord of Illusions,” the major antagonist, Butterfield, has returned to the Hellraiser universe. More of a conniving trickster, Butterfield continues to play his own mind games to get what he wants. I am anxious to see a rematch between Harry and Butterfield. Though his sarcasm remains the same, Harry has become more than the regular guy thrown into an extraordinary situation. I look forward to seeing what Butterfield, who was a fanatical cult leader in the movie, will do to the Cenobites.

Artist Tom Garcia definitely knows how to illustrate the gruesomeness of monsters. When Butterfield transforms into his new body, his appearance looks like a giant worm with claws. The only recognizable part of his human half is his head. Butterfield uses his enormous slithering body, to wrap his enemies around and squeeze them, like a snake. To add to the torture, Butterfield licks his squirming enemy with his drooling tongue.

Inside the orb, the more Kirsty and Elliot fight, the less they have of their humanity. Using the metaphor, Garcia captures close-ups of Kirsty’s farcical expressions, depicting her never-ending struggle to hold onto her humanity. In an eerie scene of body horror, Elliot has nothing left of his humanity as his face melts. The monster inside Elliot is coming out and there is nothing to hold him back.

Fans will be very excited with what happens at the shocking last page of “Hellraiser: The Dark Watch” #8. After so many disappointing sequels, the “Hellraiser” franchise has settled nicely into the comic book medium. Horror fans should definitely be picking up “The Dark Watch”.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis




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