Sunday, June 23, 2013

Comic Review: Hellraiser The Road Below

    The story in this book is supplemental to that in the five volumes of Boom! Studios’ main Hellraiser series.  It brings in some elements that seem to be shifting the series from simply focusing on the issues of the Cenobites and Kirsty to a greater Clive Barker universe.  Already in the main series, we’ve seen the introduction of Harry D’Amour, but not we see the introduction of what seems to be a couple clans of the Nightbreed.  We’ll see.

Are we coming back?  Yeehaa!!!

    The format of this volume is a bit odd.  Kirsty, troubled in her new role, goes to see the Female (still unnamed) for what amounts to some ‘girl talk.’  And thus begins her narration of a story that happened in the very early days of her tenure in Hell.  It then becomes the story of a stressed out woman working in an occult shop and her troubles with a teen daughter.  There’s stuff about a shadowy past and trouble lurking in the shadows.  Kirsty gets involved when she is summoned via a Lemarchand box.  Again, there are hints of the Breed, without coming right out and saying it.  And there might be something else from Barker’s universe.  Honestly, I’m not well enough versed in his work to know for sure.

    As with the other Hellraiser comics, the art is tolerable, but certainly not inspiring.  The dialog is somehow off.  I think part of the problem is Kirsty in her place as the new Engineer (?).  She is portrayed as still being very human.  I know that’s part of it, but I liked that in the main run of the comic, she was more effected by the transition.  I want her to be more alien, more shaped by the world she lives in.  So far, Boom! and their people have shotgunned a lot of potentially cool ideas across the pages of these books.  This Barkerverse has a lot going for it.  I’m just worried that it’s all for naught.  It is going anywhere?  Do they have a plan?  Will they take the time and effort to realize it?  I don’t know.

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser:  The Road Below
Author: Brandon Seifert
Artist: Haemi Jang
Publisher: Boom! Studios
ISBN: 978-1-60886-314-3


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