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For any horror fan, CLIVE
BARKER’S HELLRAISER MASTERPIECES: VOL. 1 (BOOM! Studios) is a definitely
must-have. Originally published by Marvel Comics, this collection of short
stories keeps the heart racing and never loses a beat. As each story gets
better and better, you will undoubtedly have a difficult time putting this
comic down. This collection contains a list of fantastic storytellers,
including Barker himself, Neil Gaiman (SANDMAN) and Larry Wachowski (THE
MATRIX). Likewise, an army of talented artists, namely Mike Mignola (HELLBOY),
Dave McKean (MIRRORMASK) and Alex Ross (KINGDOM COME), has also contributed
this a worthwhile horror experience.
Readers expecting the
appearance of Pinhead, the master torturer of souls, will be somewhat
disappointed. What this collected work does is serve the demonic race of the
Cenobites. Fans will learn more about what makes these monstrosities tick.
Wachowski’s “Razing Hell: Stolen time (Part One)” supplies that purpose with
tremendous style. In the narrative, an author unexpectedly finds his way out of
hell. While the writer is locked up in a mental hospital, the Cenobites are
tearing through the walls trying to get to him.
Barker kicks up the fast pace
and contributes the story “The Harrowing, Part One: Resurrection.” A group of
six strangers are reluctantly assembled to fight. These are ordinary citizens
who have nothing exciting going on in their lives. Suddenly, they are thrust
into a war with hell and must work together in hopes of saving humanity. Thanks
to Ross’ artwork, there is a bloody confrontation between the assembled team
and the Cenobites that must absolutely be seen!
When you finish reading
Barker’s story, Gaiman’s “Wordsworth” will truly leave you unsettled. In this
simple tale, a librarian becomes dangerously obsessed with solving a crossword
puzzle. As he digs further into his fixation, readers gradually discover this
person is trapped in hell. The Cenobites are torturing the librarian with sick
glee, enjoying themselves as they hear his screams. As always, the surrealistic
artwork by McKean takes the lyrical prose up another notch.
This critic’s favorite in
the collection is “Dead Things Rot.” With the plot by Mignola and D.G. Chichester,
a serial killer is chopping off the body parts of his victims. With those
missing appendages, he is slowly building the body of his own monster. Just as
promised, the Cenobite will bring the creature back to life while playing his
own game of deception. This is Mignola’s artwork like you’ve never seen before,
full of brutal imagery and with a twisted ending!
Packed with so much
disturbing terror, CLIVE BARKER’S HELLRAISER MASTERPIECES: VOL. 1 could have
only been brought to readers by the best assembly of writers and artists. New
fans will be able to jump right into Barker’s mythology. Then they will want to
know more and seek out the HELLRAISER classic. Hardcore followers will surely
want to add this comic book to their collection! Once you start reading the
first page, you won’t be able to stop yourself. You definitely don’t want to
miss out on HELLRAISER MASTERPIECES!
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