“HACK/SLASH” #1 (Comic Review)

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Originally published on Feb. 26, 2011

The first issue of the new HACK/SLASH four-issue miniseries from Image Comics opens strongly with a growing cast of supporting characters while weaving in multiple plotlines.

Cassie Hack and her loyal sidekick, Vlad, are slasher slayers in the profitable business of saving screaming teenagers. Vlad notices his partner is considerably on edge, as if she’s not at the top of her A-game. If he is not able to get through to Cassie, one of them will pay the ultimate price in the heat of battle.

Readers are brought into the middle of an argument between Cassie and Vlad. These two partners have been at odds for a while now. Vlad understands Cassie can take care of herself, but she is acting out recklessly, which could endanger them both. During the past few weeks, the two have been on an exhausting hunt for slashers. Neither of them have made any pitstops for food or even taken rest in some hotel.

Instead of dealing with her broken heart, Cassie chooses to push aside her emotions. In the process, Cassie is also cutting off her teammate as well. Hack lives only to kill the slashers, aching to beat their brains out with her baseball bat. Losing patience, Vlad wonders how much more he can take talking to a brick wall.

While they are on the hunt for the Make-Out Slasher, Cat Curio is also on the prowl for a killer of her own. Since she was little, Cat always saw herself as a semi-Nancy Drew detective. After being brutally stabbed, she was sent into a deep coma that lasted for 13 years. Now that she has finally awoken, Cat is on a never-ending manhunt for her masked attacker. With the two plotlines intercutting, questions arise about the upcoming story arc. When will Cat eventually meet with Vlad and Cassie? Will this would-be detective drive a bigger wedge between the two slayers? With all the tension going on within Hack/Slash Inc., does the Black Lamp Society have the upper hand?

Creator and author Tim Seeley delves into the love/hate relationship between Vlad and Cassie. During their conversation, Cassie manages to be unforgiving and heartbroken at the same time. Their relationship seems to be heading toward a turning point, as if hinting at a break-up. With many new characters added to the mythology, the strength of Seeley’s writing lies when transitioning from one storyline to another.

The flashy artwork by Daniel Leister is mixed superbly with the bright colors of Mark Englert. Cat Curio has a shock and awe element to her facial expressions. In one panel, Cat is afraid of the supernatural, and in the other, she is fascinated by the abnormality. The main attraction of this issue is the bloody encounter between Cassie and the Make-Out Slasher. You have to see what she does with her bat!

Always fun for entertainment, HACK AND SLASH #1 is an impressive start to the fresh series. This issue is mostly meant for regular followers, but fills in the blanks as well for new fans. With the set-up established, readers will undoubtedly be excited to see where the story goes from here. Don’t miss out on one of the best horror comic books out there!