Gory and disturbing to the core, “Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: Bestiary” #2 is a must-read continuation of the horror franchise that made Pinhead a household name. After so many lackluster sequels, “Hellraiser” is back with a worthy installment. In the right hands, “Bestiary” delvers an anthology of shorts that know how to bring in the shocks and scares.
WRITTEN BY: Mark Miller, Ben Meares, Christopher Taylor
ART BY: Jason Shawn Alexander, Amancay Nahuelpan, Carlos Magno
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
RELEASE: September 17, 2013
Reviewed By Jorge Solis
“Old Hat To The Devil” delivers a gritty and twisted take on the Robert Johnson legend. A blues musician is given a guitar that looks eerily similar to the Lament Configuration. In “Hellbound Desires,” viewers can watch the slaughter of unsuspecting nude, live women on an adult webcam site. In “The Hunted: Part Two,” the captured Pinhead finds himself caught in the middle of a gang war.
Though these are separate stories, all three tales take place right after the events from Brandon Seifert and Tom Garcia’s “The Dark Watch.” Eliot Spencer is back as Pinhead, the Pope of Hell, harvesting human souls for his own sicka musement. In the first installment, I missed Seifert’s witty comic relief, but writer Ben Meares brings back the dark humor in “Hellbound Desires.” It’s a short tale that packs a shocking ironic twist towards the end.
In Christopher Taylor’s “Old Hat To The Devil,” a blues musician wants to make a deal with Pinhead to see his long-lost love. When Calvin performs the music of the puzzle box on stage, his audience becomes fodder for the Cenobites. Artist Jason Shawn Alexander’s watercolors are an impressive sight to see.
In “The Hunted, Part Two,” the Meares and co-writer Mark Miller explores topics such as racism and urban crime, which makes the story feel original and fresh. You have a group of hardcore gang members who show no compassion for the “Devil.” In extreme close-ups, Carlos Magno captures Pinhead in gut-wrenching pain as the gang members operate on his face with machetes and other blades.
“Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: Bestiary” #2 will deliver chilling nightmares to the reader. I can’t wait to read the next list of short horror stories.