Story by Steve Seeley & Michael Moreci
Art by Emilio Laiso
Review by Mara Whiteside
Hack/Slash is one of those books that comes along and pulls you in. You don’t know why you’re pulled in, especially since it’s not your “type” on the surface: scantily clad female travelling around the world to kill monsters. If this isn’t your cup of tea, give me a chance to convince you to pick it up.
The basic premise behind Hack/Slash is Cassie Hack’s commitment to hunting and killing slashers. Slashers are near-impossible-to-kill murderers that take the form of the supernatural. There’s a touch of magic usually involved, but that doesn’t slow down Cassie. Cassie started to take down slashers when her mother died and came back to life as the Lunch Lady, a slasher who began picking off Cassie’s classmates one by one. Cassie takes her job seriously, and, with the help of her hideous friend Vlad, she’s unmatched in her success rate.
In issue #19, Cassie is at the end of her rope with her latest murderer. This particular slasher cannot die, and every attempt at preventing successful reincarnation is met with failure. Removal of limbs, burning the body, severing the head…nothing keeps this monster from resuming its murderous agenda. Vlad can easily see Cassie’s frustration as every method she knows refuses to make a difference. He begins to wonder if Cassie has finally reached her breaking point.
One of the dangers of Cassie and Vlad’s job is running into the law. The general public is not inclined to believe the existence of slashers, which usually results in multiple arrests, homicide charges, and a life as a fugitive while trying to protect the public. As Cassie is smashing in the head of the slasher, the local police arrest her and take the body into custody. No amount of warning on Cassie’s part will convince the police that she is the good guy. From her jail cell, Cassie must find a way to protect the officers in the building and put the slasher down permanently before he comes back to life.
Hack/Slash has a lot going for it: a flawed and determined lead female, a sense of danger, and a varied supporting cast that work with Cassie to solve supernatural murders and discreetly dispose of some of the most dangerous beings on the planet. On the surface, a goth girl barely clothed may seem like pandering to a male audience. Bring that up to Cassie, however, and she may leave you for dead and not think twice about it.
Issue #19 isn’t a bad place to jump in for the series. In fact, this is the first issue I’ve read in months. Everything you need to know about the characters are right there in this issue, and the story is moving enough to keep you coming back for more. If you’re looking for something vastly different from the traditional superhero book, look no further.