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Hellraiser The Dark Watch #7

Review by Paul Bowler

Hellraiser The Dark Watch #7 continues this new era of Hellraiser by Clive Barker and co-writer Brandon Seifert, as the Cenobites are confronted by a new enemy; Tiffany continues her search for Kirsty Cotton. Ex private investigator Henry D’Amour has become the new High Priest of Hell, but the Cenobites only follow him grudgingly and Leviathan’s realm has come under attack by a rival faction of demons. While the female Cenobite watches the conflict unfold, Tiffany and her allies begin to wonder if D’Amour has become corrupted by his new role.

As the battle rages in Hell, new alliances are formed, and Tiffany is faced with a startling revelation about Kirsty.  After a demonic entity known as the Raparee appears, D’Amour begs them to release him from the binding circle as the hulking demon turns on him. His talisman protects him long enough for Theo to use the enchanted blade against the creature, allowing the others time to get rid of The Glyph of the Solutent and burn the monstrosity. D’Amour tells them how the demon is one of the many now attacking the Labyrinth, but the Cenobites are unable to harm them, as they are also protected by talismans like the one they just used. Harry asks for their help and Tiffany agrees to go along with his plan, but she has one condition of her own…

In the Labyrinth the Cenobites are forced to retreat as the Heretics defile their domain, unable to attack them while they are protected, they await word from their Pontifex for a solution. The female Cenobite watches as the demons arrange the bodies of the fallen Cenobites on the ground, and she slowly begins to realize that they are using the corpses to construct a massive Glyph of the Solutent on the surface of the Labyrinth to encircle Leviathan.

Hellraiser The Dark Watch #7 (Cover)

Tiffany and the others arrive through the portal and witness the Glyph taking shape below. Harry guesses that the demons are planning to assassinate Leviathan. Using the protection talisman and the demon killing knife, Norton leads the attack, hoping that their combined skills – and a little help from the Cenobite army – will be enough to see them through. The battle goes well, but Tiffany is shocked to discover that D’amour has been lying to her. On retuning to their own reality Tiffany waits until the other are safely through the portal before making a momentous decision…

This new ongoing series from BOOM Studios continues to expand the mythology of the Hellraiser universe, as Clive Barker and Brandon Seifert set the stage for the next chapter in power struggle between the Cenobites and a new breed of demons. Since his return to the Hellraiser universe, Clive Barker has completely re-imagined the Hellraiser saga, together with co-writer Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor, Hellraiser: The Raod Below) and art by Tom Garcia, to bring a new direction to one of the horror genres greatest franchises.

Brandon Seifert does an excellent job of bringing Clive Barker’s vision to life as Hellraiser The Dark Watch#7 sees the action between dimensions escalating, weaving numerous plot threads together, as the series reaches a turning point – the effects of which are sure to have significant implications over the next few issues.

Tom Garcia’s art is perfectly suited to the Hellraiser series, every detail of the Cenobites shadowy realm oozes with menace, and the big reveal of The Glyph of the Solutent on the surface of the Labyrinth is stunning. The colors by Valadimir Popov’s are also exceptionally good, especially during the battles, as the muted tones of the Labyrinth give way to the blood splattered carnage.

Hellraiser The Dark Watch #7 continues this bold new era for Hellraiser, with its intricate storylines, compelling characters, and great art, this series is a must for fans of Clive Barker and the Hellraiser films.