I've been waiting to get my hands on the the new Clive Barker CO-WRITTEN Hellraiser comic series from Boom for a while now. My local comic shop has distributed all the issues so far, but unfortunately I was behind on a few so I was thrilled when I saw the compiled form on the shelves. Overall the measely four issues that compile this book (they don't even include the fifth to finish off the first story-arc) are not bad. If you are a fan of Clive, or of the Hellraiser lore, you will not be disappointed. We have all been waiting for Clive to throw us another mind scrap of what he'd do with the Hellraiser universe; after his breakthrough novel/film, and until the Scarlet Gospel's is finished this is the closest thing we are going to get to further explore Clive's Hellraiser vision.
I almost wish Clive would have written another novella rather than try to compile his ideas into comic form, because he has very little room to work with and the story, while a tad bit on the slow side, actually seems a little rushed. I know, that doesn't make much sense! Think of it this way, it takes a while for things to happen. Pinhead fumbles and stumbles over his lectures until we finally get to the point of what he's trying to say, and then after he says it, the outcome of his words hit nearly pages later. This makes the pacing seem off as the other characters origins are sloppily introduced through a quick flashback montage, and are quickly dismissed pages later. The reader has to do a lot of putting 2 and 2 together, and it's hard to do with a series that doesn't have much 'direct' source material to base the comic's lore off of. Maybe this series is all part of Clive's master plan to shorten the length of the Scarlet Gospel's, and quickly fill in the gaps between Pinhead struggling to become human again, but either way the pacing and plot development needs to be improved.
While linework and coloring sometimes looks incredible, it also suffers on some chapters as well. I believe there are 4 different artists working on this series so far, and this book compiles 4 issues and a short prologue with 3 different artists rendering of the story! Stick with Manco and keep on truckin'!
If you are a fan of Clive Barker, especially with his work on the Hellbound Heart and the Hellraiser adaptation, you will not be disappointed with this. If you aren't a fan, and are just a fan of horror comics, you may be lost with the story, but there is enough here to wet your horror appetite and keep you salivating for volume 2.