By: Tim Seeley (writer), Daniel Leister (art), Mark Englert (colors) & Crank (letters)
The Story: As Hack/Slash moves from Devils Due publishers over to Image, we are treated to a fresh jumping on point that explains the origins of Cassandra Hack and why she’s out to kill serial killers.
What’s Good: Hack/Slash is not a new title by any stretch, but when you move from Devils Due to Image, you are going to get a flood of new readers because a lot of LCSs will stock a few issues of Image titles, but won’t touch anything from Devils Due out of fear that they won’t sell. So, it makes sense that creator Tim Seeley would give us a nice jumping on point for the world of Cassandra Hack now that he’s got a few more eyeballs on the title.
The concept of Hack/Slash isn’t that complicated: Cassandra Hack is teenage girl who hunts and kills serial killers. That’s basically it. I haven’t read all the prior issues of Hack/Slash, but it has become a favorite of mine on the iPhone when I have idle minutes in the various waiting rooms of the world. You really don’t need any prior knowledge to hop on and figure out what is going on in this comic. It is a very good intro to who Cassandra is. I think she’s like a teenage girl version of Bruce Wayne, but without the money or compunctions about killing the bad guys. She’s grim, ruthless and not about to let emotional attachments stand in the way of getting the bad guys.
I think the art goes a long way to selling a book like this. It is appropriately colorful and descriptive, yet creepy. I also really enjoy that it isn’t all photo-reference. Leister doesn’t shy away from showing the blood and guts and he certainly knows how to draw a pretty woman (and how much fun is a horror book without pretty girls?).
What’s Not So Good: Established readers of Hack/Slash might think this issue moves a little slowly. I’ve only read a few issues here and there and I thought it was a little slow. I guess a jumping on issue does need to lay the groundwork somewhat, but I think that writers get a little too focused on making things easy for new readers. Honestly, if you are intrigued by a comic, in the year 2010 it is darn easy to go find some back issues (not to mention that Image is plugging the 3 omnibuses pretty hard). Still, we do get to see Cassandra kick some butt (in a very bloody way) and get the tease for what’s to come in the rest of this My First Maniac arc. So, I’m only listing this slow story as a very, very minor negative.
Conclusion: I’ve been looking forward to this issue and even if it was a little slow, it didn’t disappoint and I’m looking forward to reading this monthly.
– Dean Stell