Final Issue Review: ‘Hellraiser: The Dark Watch’ #12

HellraiserDarkWatch_12_rev_Page_1

The epic-sized final issue of “Hellraiser: The Dark Watch” #12 ends with a spectacular conclusion. This is an all-out monster-extravaganza as the war for Hell between Elliot Spencer and Kirsty Cotton spreads to Earth. The “Dark Watch” series takes the Hellraiser franchise to new depths that horror fans will enjoy.

WRIITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Brandon Seifert
ART BY: Tom Garcia
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: Jan. 15th, 2013

In order to stop Elliot Spencer and beat him at his own game, Kirsty Cotton has to make tough choices, even as she is exhausted from fighting. She has already sacrificed her own soul and lost her long-lost “daughter,” Tiffany, in the process. To help her mother, Tiffany made a deal and became a Cenobite to join Harry D’Amour and his army. But even with all his demonic powers, Harry does not have enough strength and Cenobites to take down Spencer. With one more sacrifice left to make, will that be enough to save Earth from the wrath of Spencer and his vicious breed of demons?

As the series progressed, Clive Barker and co-writer, Brandon Seifert, focused on the mother/daughter relationship between Tiffany and Kirsty. They both share a feisty attitude and have bonded over their strong personalities. One of the highlights for me in this issue is watching Tiffany and Kirsty fight side by side. It makes me wonder why no one had thought of this before as a sequel to the “Hellraiser” movies. Barker and Seifert have to cram so much exposition and action in this final issue, that not a single page is wasted.

What I think made “The Dark Watch” work so well is how Seifert injected his brand of witty humor into the dialogue. Even though he became the new Pinhead, Harry is still the everyman caught in an extraordinary situation. Harry fights back the only way he knows how; by throwing in some sarcastic remarks. The relationship between Kirsty and Tiffany comes alive as they banter back and forth. I believe it was this sense of comic relief that rejuvenated the Hellraiser series and made the franchise feel fresh again. Seifert knows how to add some comedy and go really dark at the same time, especially in the last pages.

Artist Tom Garcia definitely knows how to illustrate the power-hungry mind of Spencer. As Pinhead, Spencer was serious and calm, as if he felt superior than everyone else. Spencer, in his new monstrous form, has more freedom in his movements and facial expressions. In his close-ups, Spencer has a maniacal smile on his face, as if he is relishing every moment. Spencer seems to be having fun as he is torturing Kirsty.

In the climactic battle between Spencer and Kirsty, Garcia focuses on their body poses and facial expressions. Garcia portrays Kirsty and Spencer as if they are the same person, as if they were born warriors at heart. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but the last pages are definitely Garcia’s best work. Hellraiser fans are going to love what Garcia does with the character designs of the core cast members.

Though this is the final issue of the “Hellraiser: The Dark Watch” series, the last pages will leave readers wanting more. A clever nod to Hellraiser fans, a central character promises he will see you soon. How soon can that issue get here?

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by Jorge Solis

  • alina006

    I could say a lot about the final issue. But I want to say the only thing. I deeply regret Leviathan’s reputation. He was not only turned into a milkman without further explanation, moreover – turned into miserable and good-for-nothing coward, who needed help from a hysterical woman and a beetle, who betrayed, betrayed and betrayed everybody in the world. These comics also ruined Elliott’s reputation, now they destroyed Leviathan’s dignity. I have a feeling that initially there should have been another ending, much more clear. But than the studio was flooded with complaints of fans, demanding to return original Pinhead and the studio had to re-write at glance new ending where Elliott becomes Archbishop of Hell without any good reason. Anyway it could have explained the plot holes, helplessness of Leviathan and mysterious but fast way to close Abyss.

  • Evan3

    It’s refreshing to hear that Barker and Co. have successfully expanded the Hellraiser Universe. The first film worked so well given its small and personal setting. The film sequels absolutely botched expansion of the mythos. Again, glad to hear the comics succeed where the movies fail.