Review: ‘Hellraiser: The Dark Watch’ #10

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While continuing to horrify fans with its disturbing imagery, “Hellraiser: The Dark Watch” #10 lets loose on an all-out battle between two demonic races. The previous installments have been foreshadowing an upcoming Demon War and now, the “Hellraiser” series delivers on that gory promise and more as the action kicks in.

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

Finally freed from an orb, Kirsty Cotton has reunited with her long-lost “daughter,” Tiffany. After years of being separated, Kirsty and Tiffany are now working together, side by side, on bringing down Elliot Spencer and Abaddon’s army. The Cenobites are no longer safe in Hell as Abaddon has ordered Spencer, the former Pinhead, to lead the slaughter. Kirsty and Tiffany have to decide whether or not they should choose sides in this Demon War. Will they help Harry D’Amour lead the charge against Abaddon’s growing army?

Though I previously thought of Kirsty and Tiffany more as “sisters,” I really like how Clive Barker and co-writer, Brandon Seifert, have explored it as a mother/daughter dynamic. Notice how Kirsty listens to Tiffany’s exploits as if she were a surprised and proud parent. While worrying about her safety, Kirsty knows Tiffany can definitely handle herself in the end. Like an obedient child, Tiffany even stays put when Kirsty tells her too. I enjoyed the dialogue between Kirsty and Tiffany when they shared scenes together. I really hope Barker and Seifert continue with this in later issues.

War is brewing in Hell and it’s interesting to see how characters are strategizing their attacks. As the detective, Harry D’Amour searches for meaning behind every clue before planning his next move. Leviathan even has plans for the Female Cenobite, Spencer’s Ex, but whose side is she really on? The subplot in this installment also ties itself together to “Hellraiser Annual 2013,” and brings back a character from Ben Meares’ short segment, “Something To Keep Us Apart.”

Artist Tom Garcia delivers such stylized demon vs. demon attacks throughout the narrative. In the opening pages, Garcia introduces a member of Abaddon’s army, which is a giant bug with hairy claw-like arms. With a human head placed on top of the bug’s body, Harry drags the corpse across the floor by its tongue. In a big panel, Garcia focuses on the pained expression on the dead bug’s face, as if the creature died screaming.

Mid-way through the narrative, readers get an epic attack between the Cenobites and Abaddon’s army. Garcia illustrates a swarm of giant flies circling around, taking a nosedive towards Harry and Kirsty. While Harry and Kirsty are in the middle of a conversation, notice that there are dead bodies falling in the background. Spencer even makes a grand entrance in his new demonic form.

The first battle in the Demon War takes place in “Hellraiser: The Dark Watch” #10. The Cenobites face a dangerous adversary who’s willing to wipe out their entire race. When the Demon War is finally over, who will be left standing?

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis