“HACK/SLASH” #5 (Comic Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on June 26, 2011

Surprisingly experimental and enjoyable, HACK/SLASH #5 (Image Comics) is a terrific start to a whole new story arc.

Beaten and worn from their previous battle, Cassie and Vlad, the slasher slayers, gradually attempt to rebuild their relationship. As they mourn their tragic losses, the two are given a chance to settle the score with their long-time nemesis, the Black Lamp Society.

Creator and author Tim Seeley lays the groundwork for possible plotlines—Cassie’s childhood and Vlad’s future—to cover as it’s really emphasized how these two partners depend on each other. Just when you think things couldn’t get worse for Cassie and Vlad, Seeley swiftly pulls the rug right from under your feet. The shocking conclusion will most definitely have fellow regular followers talking.

Artist Kyle Strahm presents two different types of styles to readers. The opening prologue, the origin tale of Queen of the Jungle Fantomah, is a charming tribute to the 1950s. The drawings, along with the colors of Mark Englert and Nate Lovett, wonderfully capture the Golden Age essence. Strahm switches gears for the meat of the story, presenting a unique take on the series. By slightly changing the look of the protagonists, Vlad and Cassie have a more punk, grungier design.

There’s an air of inevitable downfall in HACK/SLASH #5, something that grips the reader and has them anxiously awaiting the next step.