What’s a Cenobite to do? The pleasures of the flesh amount to vapid experiences of pain and pleasure. Victims lack the complexity of thought to truly digest the full scope of atrocity being perpetrated upon them. This carnal exchange leaves Pinhead with only one option; alter the playing field. Intrigued? Unlock the Lament Configuration box and take the jump…if you dare.

Written By: Clive Barker & Christopher Monfette
Art By: Leonardo Manco
Colors By: Charlie Kirchoff
Lettering By: Travis Lanham
Edited By: Ian Brill
Covers By: Tim Bradstreet, Nick Percival and Clive Barker
Published By: Boom! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously: Darkness hasn’t been quite so opaque during the past several years. One of Horrors greatest Architects of Terror, Renaissance man Clive Barker has been noticeably absent from the scene. Periodic updates share glimmers of insight into the labyrinthine patchwork of Barker’s planned creative releases.  A few examples include wrapping up two sprawling series: the first being the decade-old Abarat and the other is the final installment of the decades-old legacy, The Books of The Art. Barker’s last literary release was 4 years ago, the underwhelming Mister B. Gone. Since then, fans have been clamoring for Clive’s flesh-rending return. The wait is over with Boom! Studios Hellraiser #1.

How Pinhead Got His Groove Back

Pinhead has grown weary of the sameness of the flesh. There is no edification to be derived from the wholesale slaughter of human beings when people have a limited palate of understanding. How do you truly terrify someone who has no idea of what they’re faced against? Murder, torture, sado-masochism, these acts deserve to be inflicted on those who understand the strata of terror. No longer content to kill indiscriminately, Pinhead decides to take the ultimate gamble in order to put some pep back into his step. He makes a deal with the Devil.

Blessed Be! Barker’s Back!

Hellraiser #1 will satisfy Barker fans who have been anxiously awaiting the reemergence of new original Hellraiser stories. Readers will undoubtedly find themselves noticing the cinematic approach to Barker and co-writer Christopher Monfette’s storytelling methods. Artist Leonard Manco provides the reader with stunningly detailed pencils delivered via great cinematography. If only this story had been used as a template for any of the non-Barker directed straight to DVD Hellraiser films. Where Hollywood has failed us, thanks to Boom! Studios, comics continue to deliver.

As an added bonus, Boom! has included a 10-page reprint of a classic Hellraiser story, written by Larry Wachowski, ½ of the famous Wachowski Brothers.

Bottom Line: A Tour De Force For The Twisted

Along with Freddy Kruger and Jason Vorhees, Pinhead is one of the most influential monsters birthed in the last 30 years. Where the sequels have squandered the inherent terror of the Hellraiser franchise, your comics shop is ready to reintroduce you to the revitalized horror contained within these pages. Top quality horror comics are almost as rare as new product offerings from Barker. Combine the excellence of this book along with Barker’s undeniable pedigree, and Hellraiser #1 earns 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★½


About Author

A San Diego native, Mike has comics in his blood and has attended the San Diego Comic Con every year since 1982. His comic interests are as varied as his crimes against humanity, but he tends to lean heavily towards things rooted in dystopian themes. His favorite comic series is Warren Ellis’ and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan. Spider Jerusalem is the best character ever devised. Mike realizes those statements will alienate a good portion of his potential audience, but those are the facts. You are unlikely to find a single collector with a better Transmetropolitan art portfolio than the one he has in his possession. He is an Assistant Editor for the upcoming Transmetropolitan Charity Book. He also occasionally freelances for various other comics websites, which he promotes through his homepage (www.comickarma.com), Twitter and other inherently intrusive forms of social media. Mike firmly believes that the best writers come from the UK. This could be because he’s of Irish descent; not so much based on physical geography as the fact that the Irish like to drink heavily.


  1. Aaron Rasmussen on

    This is such an awesome comic! Classic Clive Barker at his best! Leonardo Manco returning to his original and best (imo) style! The return of Kirsty Cotton! This is a truly great comic with an interesting story and awesome art. What more can a comic fan ask for?

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