REVIEW: Hellraiser #7

HELLRAISER #7 (Cover Date: September 2011)
Story by: Clive Barker & Christopher Monfette
Art by: Stephen Thompson & Janusz Ordon
Colours: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Travis Lanham
Cover by: Tim Bradtreeet
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Reviewed By: David O’ Leary
Book Summery: One of the greatest horror franchises of all time returns, now under the control of its original creator! Clive Barker has touched HELLRAISER only twice: once to write THE HELLBOUND HEART, and once more to write and direct the original HELLRAISER film. Now witness Barker’s long-awaited return to tell a new chapter in the series’ official continuity—a trajectory that will forever change the Cenobites…and Pinhead! He thought he knew his place in the void, but in this issue Pinhead discovers something that will shake HELLRAISER fans to their core.

“Requiem Part3”

This book since its launch earlier this year has been consistently a compelling read with some of the best visuals from any company. The horror genre in general is one that is hard to get a good mix of story, characterisation and gore with some titles all too often jumping from one overtly gory scene to the next and forgetting about all the rest. One thing though that Hellraiser can proclaim is great pacing and well laid out scenes that seem natural and makes it one of BOOM!’s premiere titles right now.
This issue could well be my favourite of the series so far with it bringing the reader on a tour of the meandering corridors of Leviathan’s labyrinth with some great fleshing out of Pinhead and his motivation for wanting to move away from the position he has held for so long. This issue sees Kirsty having accepted the position of Pinhead’s replacement and taking a tour of Hell and in a brilliantly written set of scenes, we see both Kirsty and Hell’s residents not quite ready for each other. It was a great little twist in the story that was a little bit different to what I would have expected. The issue built up nicely to a meeting between Kirsty and Pinhead that gave us a great full page image to finish the issue. All in all another great issue.
We see another artist change on the series once more with this issue. Stephen Thompson is joined by Janusz Ordon and art duties are split between the two. Thompson’s style to me is the stronger of the two with Ordon’s style, though nice, a little less refined and looser than Thompson’s. What makes the art in the issue seem harmonious though is the brilliant colouring of Jordie Bellaire. There are a couple of pages while the story is in Hell that she uses a great mix of blues and reds that give the reader some beautiful contrasting images and you have to step back and appreciate what you have in front of you. That and the use of the blue and red colour palette on the final page make it an arresting image that leaves you wanting more from both writer and artist.
Another great issue from BOOM! I have said before that I have not seen the movies prior to reading this and I have found it a greatly accessible book which I have enjoyed no end. A lot of folks are prudent with their comics spending these days and rightly so but I have no hesitation in recommending this book.