Boom! Studios, which have kept Clive Barker’s Hellraiser alive (so to speak) in comic book form, has released another of Barker’s creations with the publication of Clive Barker’s NIGHTBREED #1! Based on his 1988 novel Cabal, Barker also wrote and directed the 1990 film adaptation entitled Nightbreed. While the film has achieved a cult status with horror fans, the movie failed both critically and commercially at the box office. The film has gained resurgence recently with fans petitioning producers to release the director’s cut (aka “Cabal Cut”) with the “Occupy Midian” social event. With story by Clive Barker, written by Marc Andreyko (Manhunter), and with art by Piotr Kowalski (Marvel Knights: Hulk), the comic book explores the origins of the Nightbreed, a secret race of monsters who hide from the human world in a secret underground city called Midian. The story begins with an introduction by Dirk Lylesberg (as he appeared in the movie played by Doug Bradley ("Pinhead" in the Hellraiser films) in the film) as a framing device for the somewhat disjointed events featuring the characters Peloquin, a red-skinned, vampire-like creature, and Shuna Sassi, a woman covered in porcupine-like quills, in separate vignettes. The first takes place in Louisiana in 1857 where two escaped slaves run across Peloquin in a swamp at night, the other takes place in Boston, Mass. in 1945 where Shuna makes a surprise appearance in the most unlikely of places! The appearance and design of the characters in the comic are as they appeared in the movie. Fellow fans of the story will be excited to see the return of these characters, however it may be hard for non-fans to get into it without having seen the movie or even read the book/comics. While this isn’t the first time the Nightbreed have been adapted into comic books, as Epic/Marvel published a short, 25-issue run from 1990 to 1992. As a fan of Cabal/Nightbreed, I was overjoyed to see the return of this series as I was already an avid reader of Boom’s Clive Barker series and spin-offs such as Hellraiser: The Dark Watch. I’m looking forward to the development of this series and seeing more of the Nightbreed as we learn more about their past and fight to coexist with humans! The first issue is available in three alternate covers featuring art by Riley Rossmo, Christopher Mitten and Mike Mignola.
June 16, 2014