Issue #4 begins with a chilling tale that shows us someone learning the truth about the person they love. In the world of Hellraiser psychological trauma is often portrayed as being far worse than physical pain, and this short story examines how the simple lack of clarity about what someone dedicates their life to can completely hide the terrible truth about them. Even without a puzzle box that opens gateways to hell there are plenty of dark secrets hidden in the shadows of people’s lives.
The second story is one of my favorite so far in the series. A innocent girl searches for solace while existing in a home with an abusive relative. She retreats to the attic for some time alone with one of her dead mother’s mementos. Of course this trinket turns out to be the Lament Configuration, and the girl inevitably calls forth the sadistic denizens of Hell known as the Cenobites. What makes this story so touching–yes, I said touching–is how the Cenobites appear in this story as saviors, even heralds of justice. Their pledge to not harm innocents makes them a little less than purely evil.
We return to the ongoing story of Pinhead searching for his stolen possessions. He lays in wait until the opportune time to retrieve a single pin back from the clutches of the poachers. That is enough to bring him the strength he needs to take revenge against the Cardinal who tasked the poachers with obtaining the pins in the first place. But that is as close as get gets before fleeing to give himself some time to gain the upper hand.
It’s becoming clearer with each issue that the story being told about Pinhead’s battle against the Church deserves far more page time than it has been given. I love the short tales that make up a third of each issue, but I wish they were their own series, and a longer, more fleshed out series had been done with the Pinhead story. If anything, I’m left wanting more after I finish every issue. I guess that’s as good a thing to say about this series as anything else!