Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #10 Retro Review
Here it is. The Conclusion to “The Blasphemers,” the first non-Adaptation Nightbreed comic storyline. For once the entire creative team of Chichester, Blevins, and Villagran stay on from the previous issue.
Last time, we left off with Lori discovering her Breed talent of raising the dead with her music. This Talent was employed to keep the Blasphemers at bay while the Breed (Boone, Kinski, Narcisse, Guido,Tater, and Nickneven’s head) make their getaway. Luckily, or so it seemed, Nickneven had an old truck on her farm. I say so it seemed, because it is a beat up ole’ heap. While they are firing it up, the Fan Belt breaks. While this auto repair session is going on, Lori is playing like there is no tomorrow, because that is pretty much what is at stake. Unfortunately, the guitar strings start to break, which causes the Raised Dead, to simmer down. Back at the truck, in a moment that is so outlandishly ridiculous that it actually works, Boone rips out Guido’s Spine, to use as the Fanbelt.
Surprisingly, this actually works, and the truck starts. Ritegrig is becoming a looser cannon by the minute and is now acting like he is running the show. This Power struggle actually helps the Breed with their escape. The Breed head to the local Mall, to regroup. No big surprise, the Blasphemers also find their way to the Mall. Oral and Aello have a private moment in which Oral let’s his feelings known, which are reciprocated by Aello.
Boone actually had a purpose in heading to the Mall. Lori needs a new guitar. Not just another acoustic one, but an electric one. His reasoning, “If that old job did what it did, something with some extra kick should really show Mulciber and his crew!” While Lori is checking out a new Axe, Mulciber and his crew show up, for the final battle! I just want to take a quick time out to mention that Nickneven’s head is now firmly in place on a Doll’s Body. A little creepy, even for a Barker book, if you ask me. Anyways, back to the battle. Once the attack happens, Lori gives her new Guitar a test drive. Is the Electric Guitar more effective then the acoustic? You tell me…
Yes, a Dinosaur skeleton emerges through the floor, making this battle much more dynamic. Unfortunately, what happens next kind of kills the momentum of the battle. For somereason, Boone still has one of those eggs that causes the Flashbacks, and cracks it open on Mulciber, giving us his Origin story.
When he was a kid, young Denny Mulciber liked to paint models. So much so, that he blew off church, which really upset his parents. Even more upset, Denny sneaks out to go to the movies. He sits next to the new girl at school, Lilith. She is incredibly forward, and get’s Denny to be more….hands on with a girl than he ever has been before. This goes horribly wrong. It appears as if he get’s pulled in or something. We don’t get to see exactly what happens because it is covered by the row of seats in front of them. Anyways, he goes home, gets yelled at for sneaking out late, and goes to bed. He wakes up looking like the Mulciber we know and love. The assumption here is that he runs of and joins the breed after that. Thus endeth the Flashback.
These memories somehow cause a complete change in heart in Mulciber, and the fighting stops. Well for The Blasphemers anyway. Ritegrig is not ready to call it quits. He has a meltdown, because “We had a deal! We’d beat them and you’d give me the night!” He then proceeds to cut off Aello’s blood and partaking of the Breed flesh. He then transforms…for about a minute or so and then…
Yep, that happened. Remember the Dinosaur Skeleton? Mulciber get’s trapped and supposedly killed. But wait, he is a Breed, right? I mean if Narcisse can survive a beheading, Mulciber can survive being buried in Burning Mall rubble, right? Later, Oral is lamenting the loss of his newfound beloved, Aello. Nickneven makes a suggestion. Nickneven now has a new body, Aello’s. What is weird is that Oral is okay with this, and they start their Happy Forever After. So does this mean that Oral really only liked her for her body, and will now put up with the Cantankerous old Witch that is Nickneven, just to be with Aello’s body? To each their own, I guess.
Boone, who is now embracing his role as Cabal, heads off with Lori to continue their mission to find a New Midian, while the remaining Breed, including surviving members of the Blasphemers, all stay at Nickneven’s Cabin. Kinski promises that he, Narcisse, and Guido, will be there for Cabal, if he needs them. And we end with a scene reminescent of the ending of the movie where all the Breed watch Cabal and Lori head off to search for New Midian.
Over all, I did enjoy this story more than I remember liking it years ago. It serves a couple purposes. It helps Boone accept his role as Cabal, and it shows Lori becoming accustomed to unLife as Nightbreed. There are still some loose threads, however. Like i mentioned, it seems unlikely that this ordeal killed Mulciber. Also, Eigerman and Ashberry were also included in the story early on, but have not been mentioned in at least two issues now. From what I remember, Asberry does show up again, but I honestly can’t remember if Eigerman returns. It has been awhile since I read all these issues before now.
I had originally planned on covering The Devil’s Brigade, the first Multi issue Storyline from Hellraiser, next. However, looking at all the other issues of Barker books that were released in 1991, I decided to hold off. We are rapidly approaching the Hellraiser/Nightbreed Crossover story, Jihad. That was also in 1991. The Devil’s Brigade started in Jun of 1991 and carried over until almost a year later. I don’t want to interrupt that story, so here is my new game plan: Next week, I will tackle Book of the Damned 1, followed by a short 2 part story of Nightbreed, then Jihad (also a two parter, and then I will jump into The Devil’s Brigade, in it’s entirety, uninterrupted. 1991 also saw the release of the Weaveworld adaptation. I have decided to cover the adaptations later (including the remaining Tapping the Vein books). I want to focus on original comic stories for right now. So, long story short (too late), join me next week as I go over The Hellraiser Companion Book, The Book of the Damned, Volume 1!