Hellraiser: The Dark Watch #1 (February – 2013 – Boom!)

Hellraiser: The Dark Watch #1

So obviously this is a spin-off of the Hellraiser title currently coming out from Boom!, the only problem with that is that I haven’t been reading the current Hellraiser title from Boom!.  So there is something in this whole situation that I’m missing.  A man with liver disease has opened the puzzle box, but instead of the grand entrance of the Cenobites, he is greeted quietly by one Cenobite who proceeds to give him a tour of Hell.

First he is shown The Pit where the petty sinners are held, their only torture being in Hell itself.  Moving towards their next destination the Cenobite and the man are attacked by some of those souls, it would seem that Hell is in a bit of upheaval.  The former patrons of the Labyrinth are trapped in a some kind of memory loop, and Leviathan has a new army.

At the head of that army is Harry D’Amour, and it would seem that the man knows D’Amour.  The man is Marchetti, a member of an order that on the earth fights against Leviathan (and any of the other Hells that dwell in their plane).  He has come to assassinate D’Amour, with a magic knife, and a protective talisman, he gives many of the “crusaders” a bit of a tussle.  D’Amour has the whole of Hell’s powers at his disposal though, and soon Marchetti is pulled apart, and rendered just another solider in Leviathan’s new army.

Meanwhile back in the real world, the box is found again by a hobo, a group of people want to take it from him (it would seem for his own safety), when he is killed by a evil bone creature.  I really need to pick up the monthly title from Boom! and start reading it, so that I have a better understanding of what the hell is going on.  As a stand alone this works, but it left me with a lot of questions that I just couldn’t answer and that was a little frustrating.  Fortunately there aren’t that many issues of the standard Hellraiser, and I should be able to get caught up at some point.  This is a good book (and good looking thanks to some beautiful art from Tom Garcia) that is really engaging (as it is co-written by Clive Barker, and Brandon Seifert from Witch Doctor).  I will keep picking up issues of this, and then try and read a little more of Hellraiser proper.

Next Time: Sandman #8

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Witch Doctor Volume 1: Under the Knife (TPB – 2011 – Image)

Witch Doctor Volume 1: Under the Knife

Collecting Witch Doctor #0-4

I used to dream that magic was real.  Books like The Great and Secret Show had me convinced that there was dark magic just around the corner, all I had to do was find it.  It is why I like Hellblazer so much, and why the TV show Supernatural and X-Files are so awesome, that blend of reality and horror into a seamless world.

Pretty much every time I pick up a new book, I’m hoping that they will nail that integration of reality and supernatural, that the ghosts and creepers that are in the title work in a way that seems real to me.  Some times that happens and you get the Moore era Swamp Thing, some times it doesn’t and you get the newest incarnation of Morbius.

Witch Doctor is one of those titles that nails that merger.  Dr. Vincent Morrow, with his assistants Eric Ghast, and Penny Dreadful are a moving clinic to combat supernatural disease, including possessions, monsters of all kind.  Their world is a blend of medical and occult science.  Instruments pieced together to help find auras and spirits to diagnose the different kinds of ailments that only come from contact with the supernatural.  It is pretty brilliant.

Just like the medical community there is a board called Magicians Without Borders, and a seedy side of back ally conjurers that are willing to do the dark stuff to help you out.  This is just exactly the kind of book that I love to read.  Everything about it oozes that this could be reality, we just don’t know it yet, and even though I feel like I’ve been look my whole life for that world to reveal itself to me, it still hasn’t.

In this collection of the first five issues Dr. Morrow faces off with a demon possessed kid, a faerie, and a group of deep ones.  Each individual tale spanning a couple of issues is just amazingly written by Brandon Seifert who has his pulse on the characters in a way that few writers do.  The art is just phenomenal from Lukas Ketner (who has also done a couple of issues of Hellraiser).  Everything is so medical and seems so alive and moving.

I’m always on the lookout for a title like this.  For that kind of book that blends the supernatural and the real in such a way that I can pretend that maybe just maybe I’m going to walk around the corner and be caught up in some kind of caper involving a monster or a demon or something.  This book is exactly my speed!

Next Time:  The Whistling Skull #1

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