Originally published at Fangoria.com on April 17, 2011
HACK/SLASH #3 (Image Comics) continues to keep readers guessing what the possible outcome could be. Vlad, the gentle giant, has run out of patience with slasher slayer Cassie Hack. Filled with frustration and doubts, he is no longer interested in being her loyal sidekick. While their partnership is disintegrating, their close friends are caught in the middle of a war between slashers! With the lives of their friends at stake, if these two teammates cannot fix their problems, they will lose everyone they know.
After the fiasco with the Acid Angel, Cassie and Vlad realize another one of their worst enemies has returned. Opponents who they once thought dead have suddenly returned to life. While Cassie and Vlad are away, their trustworthy friends are dealing with a sudden wave of vicious attacks. The only person who can help them now is Cat Curio, the intrepid Nancy Drew-wannabe detective.
This is the issue where Cat Curio actually proves her worth and shows why she was introduced to readers. While waiting in thebackseat of the police car, Cat is suddenly ambushed by an undead deer. With just a pink utility knife, Cat fights back singlehandedly. Unafraid of getting blood on her skin and clothes, Cat brawls with a horde of flesheating “Bambis.” And this is just the start; her next round is up against zombie fish.
With their friends in danger, Cassie and Vlad have no choice but to hurry up. Their drive across the country is becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Vlad is too angry and stubborn to listen to his partner. Cassie has successfully built a wall between them. Even if they arrive in the nick of time, will there be anything left of their friends alive?
Creator and author Tim Seeley focuses his creative efforts on the secondary characters. Though this story is light on Cassie and Vlad, the rest of the issue is full of slam-bang action. Cat Curio is given hilarious one-liners and shows she can take on creepy monsters as well. Interestingly, this subplot seems like Seeley wants to build another series based on this character. Through Cat Curio, the author takes a broader and wittier approach to horror/comedy.
There is nothing but high praise for the flashy artwork by Daniel Leister and the bright colors of Mark Englert. This issue’s highlight issue is the attack between the police car and the undead deer. Shotguns are fired everywhere, killer deer are run over and the pages are just painted red from top to bottom! Comic book buffs are absolutely going to get a kick out of these pages.
Definitely keep your eyes on Cat Curio. This issue belongs to her, and Curio proves to longtime HACK/SLASH fans why she was created in the first place. Vlad and Cassie Hack might just stop saving screaming teenagers in the next issue! Out next week, don’t miss a single issue from one of the best horror comic books around!