Readers of BOOM! Studios' Hellraiser series were left last month with a cliffhanger whose implications signaled substantial change to the status quo of Clive Barker's enduring horror saga: Kirsty Cotton, the heroine of the Barker's original novella The Hellbound Heart and the series of Hellraiser films that followed, will become the new Pinhead in Hellraiser #8. Written by Clive Barker and Christopher Monfette with artwork by Stephen Thompson and Janusz Ordon, the book goes on sale this week in finer comics stores. ComicsAlliance has an exclusive look after the cut.Launched in March with a free downloadable issue, BOOM! Studios' new Hellraiser series marks the return of Clive Barker to his most famous creation after years away. Previous to the comic book, Barker had only written the franchise's characters twice before: in The Hellbound Heart novella and in the original Hellraiser film. As such, the BOOM! book has been embraced warmly by Hellraiser fans, especially in light of the latest disastrous film in the franchise.

The decades since Barker's old stories have also been experienced by the characters Pinhead and Kirsty, whose roles have been building towards a reversal of sorts since the eight-issue comic book storyline began. Speaking with Hellraiser fansite, co-writer Christopher Monfette talked about the story in terms of a conclusion to the saga as set forth in Barker's original works.

I believed very deeply in finding a way to recreate the world and evolve the mythos, but I also felt that it couldn't be done without bringing the story that Clive had begun to a proper conclusion. We needed to tie off that trilogy in such a way that allowed us tremendous freedom to expand the narrative into something creative and compelling for a new generation, a new millennium, of readers.

To me, that involved incorporating the actual decades, the real-seeming weariness of the series, and showing how that had descended upon Kirsty and Pinhead. To Clive, it was about finding a way to realize the Harrowers in their capacity as characters, as real people with genuine emotional bonds to our heroine. In the end, it's always about starting from a place of character. If you're serving the characters, you're serving the story, and if you're serving the story, you're serving the readers.

Hellraiser #8 goes on sale December 7 in finer comics shops.

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