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First and foremost I never read the original Hack/Slash series by Tim Seeley. My first exposure to Hack/Slash was in a one-shot issue of Nailbiter which I recall greatly enjoying. Hack/Slash is a series that intrigued me and I will definitely read it some day. Much to my surprise came a soft reboot for the series with a new creative team to resurrect the franchise. Hack/Slash Resurrection is written by Tini Howard with art by Celor. Tim Seeley is present as editor but he has handed over the reigns to the new creative team.
For those new to the series be warned that issue #1 has spoilers in the introduction. A lot has happened in Hack/Slash and Cassie Hack is now flying solo. Cassie Hack makes a living streaming video games while fending off occasional monster attacks. In this issue zombies are roaming about and it appears to be a regular occurrence for Cassie. At the same time, Cassie is recruited to be counselor for troubled youths, mirroring her past.
The issue’s greatest strength is the focus on Cassie Hack. I got to see a lot of her no nonsense personality and she sounds believable. Cassie speaks in a very down to earth way with no fluff or needless exposition. I also can’t help but to enjoy a strong protagonist that knows how to use a baseball bat with nails. Another strength was how the issue delivered its history. Cassie didn’t just explain her life story. Instead Cassie sounds like she’s weighed down by her past, struggling to move forward. There is a distinct melancholy tone in this issue. It shows that the events from the previous history had real impact on the hero and set a new tone and direction.
Speaking of impact, the greatest change for fans new and old is Cassie’s relation to Vlad. Vlad got some exposure but it was in a rather obtuse way. I didn’t really get to know Vlad or what he was about. I could tell the significance by following Cassie but I really wish for more in this department. Its good that the creators opt for show over tell but it would have been nice to know more about Vlad.
Visually the book is very appealing. There is quite a bit of action packed in even with so much plot being introduced. With a title like Hack/Slash I was hoping for some gore and it delivered a healthy taste right away. The art also has a nice balance between bright and dark. Its dark enough that it feels like a horror title but light enough to make it feel energetic and action geared. Panels are pretty standard but they flow smoothly. I only noticed one slightly rushed transition by the end. But considering how much is packed into one issue, I can forgive a few nitpicks. I also have a give hand to the creative team for living up to the fan service. Cassie spends a lot of her time in her underwear and it would disappoint fans if it wasn’t so.
My biggest problem with this issue is the villain just lingering in the background. His motivation isn’t very clear aside from creating zombies to attack Cassie. This leads me in to my second gripe, which is that Cassie didn’t seem all that surprised by zombies attacking her. This may just be because I’m a newcomer to the series but I have wonder if wandering zombies is regular thing in this world. This is only the first issue so these negatives don’t bother me too much. If the momentum continues, then I expect the negatives to be ironed out by the end of the first arc.
Overall I really liked Hack/Slash Resurrection #1. Cassie Hack is strong character that can carry the book. The pacing and story telling is great. The action looks like it’s going to deliver the gore I was hoping for. And I really don’t know what to expect next, which is good thing.