Review: Hellraiser #5

Hellraiser_05_CVR_AYou know, I actually told myself I wasn't going to review this book. I figured there was no way that the story was going to progress enough from the last issue to be worth reviewing and I didn’t want to deliver a so-so review as I did for issue #4. Yet here I am. Because this book took me by surprise and did everything I wasn’t expecting, then dropped a bomb on me for the ending. So after the last issue when Pinhead and Christy finally come face to face, it was less than amazing and again came across more as a fill in issue for the main event which is this issue. Christy is in possession of the box or the last portal to Hell and is being forced to deliver it to a man who has been sending people to the demons for years. He has her friends/cohorts captive and is supposedly going to trade their lives for the box. Christy finds his place and scopes the large farm out before approaching at night fall.

There she finds her friends have been killed by the mad man who wrapped their necks with barb wire. The mad man then opens the box and summons Pinhead and his people. From there though, you will have to read for yourself which is over half the book that I just can’t spoil. Just know that this issue takes the cake thus far in the series and the next issue will have a lot of work cut out for it in order to top this issue, but leaves on a big enough surprise that it just might.

The thing I’ve really enjoyed about the writing for this series is that Barker and Christopher Monfette are constantly pulling cards out of their sleeves. Just when you think they’ve run out of reveals and surprises they throw out another ace. They’ve also show that they really understand the format of comics by spreading the story out just enough for each book that something interesting is happening, but the rest of the issue is just as interesting as the reveal.

Something that gets a bit overlooked in this series is the art. A lot of focus goes on the story and the continuing tale of Pinhead and Christy, but the art plays a huge roll in its success. Jesus Hervas does a solid job in making sure that the art is up to the quality the story is. Hervas has a good balance of bright and dark colors in this issue which gives the series a great contrast, which definitely makes it stand out from the last issue.

This issue kicks off the next storyline for Hellraiser and it’s not to be missed, especially since there has been a slowing in horror comic books thanks to superhero re-launches and the books that are out there are really lacking in quality. Though there are three good choices this week, but Hellraiser has been consistently good from the beginning and is definitely one of the best comics on the market and definitely one of Boom Studios’ best books of 2011.

Score: 5/5

Publisher: Boom Studios

Price: $3.99