By Tim Seeley (Writer), Bryan Baugh (Artist), and Mark Englert (Colors)
Some Thoughts Before The Review: How fucking cool is the Matt Merhoff cover for the Hack/Slash #24?!
The Story: The pumpkin-headed Samhain approaches Cassie and Vlad about a possible alliance. They both want to take down the Black Lamp Society, which is finally explained in detail, so, as the saying goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
What’s Good: I wasn’t a big fan of the Netherworld plot, since it tended to get in the way of the Casssie vs. Slasher storylines that make Hack/Slash the fun series that it usually is. The Black Lamp Society stuff that’s been brewing for the last few issues is something that I can get behind. The Black Lamp Society origin story that’s told in Hack/Slash #24 delivers a nice mix of mythology (True Blood fans take notice) religion, and the supernatural (an explanation for the slashers!?) that, while not super original, fits surprisingly well into the larger Hack/Slash storyline.
Another good thing about Hack/Slash #24 is the artwork by new series artist Bryan Baugh. It’s very stylized (like a cross between tattoo art and sexy pin-up art), but loaded with an impressive amount of detail. Baugh’s work fits the series well and definitely makes the Hack/Slash interiors look quite unique.
As you probably expected, the dialogue in the latest Hack/Slash also scores a spot in the “What’s Good” section. Tim Seeley clearly has a strong handle on the story he is telling and uses smart dialogue and character interaction to drive it forward. While, again, the plot isn’t completely original, it is still fun and compelling. I look forward to reading more of it.
What’s Not So Good: I’m not entirely sure if it’s an issue with the artwork or the colors, but a few panels in Hack/Slash #24 look a bit sloppy. Either lines look extra rough or the colors lack definition. While it’s far from a crippling problem (an extra layer of polish would have helped immensely), it’s noticeable enough to warrant a mention.
Conclusion: Hack/Slash #24 is one of the best issue of the series in a while. The dialogue is sharp, the artwork is well worth checking out, and the storyline shows lots of promise. I can’t wait for the double-sized Hack/Slash #25!