Hellraiser : Dark Watch from BOOM! Studios.

Out at your favorite local comic book shop today, is the first issue of the new Hellraiser series, Dark Watch, from BOOM! Studios. Written by Clive Barker and Brandon Siefert, with excellent art from Tom Garcia, this great new series should be on everyone’s pull list this week.

For a long time now, it has been obvious that the Hellraiser film franchise has been horribly mishandled. The films went from outstanding to laughable, with each sequel drifting further away from the unique story Mr. Barker began to tell in 1987 . As the years passed, sequels were cranked out that felt more like the studios were just writing Pinhead into un-produced screenplays. Last year, a version was even released without Doug Bradley as Pinhead. For shame!

I have maintained my love of the Hellraiser mythology all along, despite the progressively less-interesting film sequels. Many excellent comic books have continued and expanded the story of the Cenobites, the puzzle box, and the gateway to legendary suffering. Not to mention the great book of short stories Hellbound Hearts, featuring Hellraiser tales from Mick Garris, Richard Christian Matheson, and Mike Mignola, to name a few.

Dark Watch picks up where the last series from BOOM! ended. The Road Below told the story of how Elliot Spencer has lost his power as archangel of hell and master torturer Pinhead, and passes the power on to Kirsty Cotton, survivor of the original Hellraiser film. Kirsty becomes the new leader of the Cenobites, and is called to New Orleans by a holder of the LeMarchand Device — a woman looking to end a decades-long family feud by any means necessary.

The first issue of Dark Watch picks up following these events, as the book opens with the Female Cenobite giving a lost soul a tour of hell, and bringing the readers up to speed on what they may have missed in the last series.

Some interesting developments in the story are afoot, including the addition of long-time Barker character Harry D’Amour in a pivotal role. Also in this issue, Tiffany the mute puzzle-pro from Hellbound: Hellraiser II shows up and seems to be leading a group to track down and destroy all of the puzzle boxes in the world.

This is a very good time for fans of Hellraiser and comic books, as we are finally being treated to true sequels to the beloved original source material, supervised by Clive Barker himself.
I, for one, am definitely looking forward to the rest of this series, and why the hell can’t we get some films based on this material?
Follow the links to catch up on all this new Hellraiser goodness, and thank me later.

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