“All good things…” Right? Everything ends. It’s a sad truth of life, just like fear, pain, and suffering. The Cenobites delight in the suffering of others (and sometimes themselves), but Hellraiser: Bestiary has been a real pleasure from the very start. It is a great addition to the Hellraiser mythology, and I’m heartbroken that this is the last issue. But enough whimpering. On with the review.
The first story is about an old woman who learned early on in life that people were not to be relied upon. As a reclusive hoarder, she fills her lonely existence with items she holds on to as strong as others cling to relationships. But she wasn’t always this lonely, and pessimistic. She had a family once, before her hoarding pushed them out of her life.
Of course, that’s how she sees it. The truth, as it so often is, holds a much darker point of view. This old woman who loves things more than people found a way to make sure her family never left her. Never had to world chew them up and spit them out. She found a way to keep them safe, with her for all time. But eventually her home grows too full of stuff, and she finds a place much bigger, with so much more room for things!
In the second tale a frustrated scientist is at his wits end when the subject of his study refuses to give up its secrets. The Lament Configuration does tend to drive people a little insane before letting people in. It’s funny that way. The scientist, however, is not amused. It defies all logic, all science. When he can no longer bear the mystery he takes matters into his own hands, literally, and falls pretty to the puzzle box’s allure.
This story has one of the best twists of the series. When the Cenobites arrive to usher the man into a world of exquisite torment beyond his wildest dreams, they find that even their talent for bestowing suffering would be wasted on the damnation he has already found.
Pinhead’s adventure ends in the final chapter of Hellraiser: bestiary’s long, sadistic journey. Having found himself in the Vatican, facing a motivated, if not horrified, police force, Pinhead has called for some reinforcements of his own. As a battle rages deep within the Vatican, Pinhead finally retrieves his most prized possessions, his pins. With the iron spikes back at home in his flesh, Pinhead is again whole, and with all his power at hand.
With his adversaries slain, Pinhead decides that sufficient reparations for the theft of his pins would be to take all the contents of the Vatican’s secret store room back to hell. The ancient trinkets make excellent decoration for his temple’s new bestiary!
I can’t stress how much I loved this entire series. The varied, and deeply true-to-form Hellraiser tales stayed interesting in no small part thanks to some really beautiful art. The art told as much of the story as did the words. Every issue, every story, was a unique take on a dark, twisted world that came together in a fantastic new piece of Hellraiser canon. I see no reason why this book shouldn’t be as critical to the story of Pinhead, and the Cenobites, as any of the movies. And to be honest, this whole six-issue masterpiece was better than any movie after the third.
Yes, I like Hell on Earth!
I truly hope this book serves as a sample of what a long-running Hellraiser series could be. I saw in this series the potential for seriously creative storytelling over a long, limitless run of deliciously macabre monthly installments. The best thing I could say about Hellraiser: Bestiary is please, please give me more. I’m begging. Every month without another issue is torment Pinhead would delight in!