I've never actually read a Hack/Slash comic before this one that I am reviewing. After avidly researching as much as I could and reading blurbs on the back of trades, I found out this is basically about a psychopath who kills other psychopaths, to put it bluntly. I thought that was pretty cool and on top of that on the inside of the cover it reads, "...a must-read for fans of horror, quirky characters or just plain hot chicks killin' stuff. Luckily, there's never been a better time to jump on board than right now" by IGN. I just thought "sweet."
Cassie and her little team hunt down people known as slashers, which is typically what you would find in a slasher movie (really?). What is revealed at the beginning of this issue is that a slasher known as Acid Angel has come back after being killed, only to have learned that this is her second time being revived. Slashers always come back, right? Anyway, there is a conflict with both Cassie and her monstrous partner Vlad. At the same time a girl known as Cat Curio is in a forest that is filled with zombie animals. A man with a pumpkin face grabs her but Cat stabs him in the eye with a knife. Then we flash back to Cassie and Vlad who are being held captive by Acid Angel. Here Acid Angel tries to convince Vlad to join her stating that Cassie only uses him; this causes him to flip out and both he and Cassie break free and the two women start to fight, but Acid Angel escapes. The issue ends with Cassie questioning if all slashers will return and one of her friends, Chris, reports that another known slasher has come back to life.
Tim Seeley is the writer behind this issue, which is just as well considering he is the author and creator of the series. Putting that aside, I found the writing to be lacking. The main problem is too much content within just a single issue. Understanding that Seeley wished for other things to develop in the background whilst the main issue's plot was unfolding, I found that to pull that off in a comic is a lot harder than say something like a movie. The drama in this issue felt like an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful -- exaggerated, forced and unnatural. To read this issue was almost an uncomfortable experience. I'll give credit where it is due as Seeley did try, but I feel that if he wishes to push this comic series above average and into the higher levels he just needs to work out exactly what he wants and how to execute it.
Daniel Liester is the artist for this issue. Known for his work on Zenescope's Wonderland series, his artwork is very similar in this comic. That is not to say that it is a bad thing; it's quite the opposite. I believe Liester is a man of talent and should be used more often. He draws the typical busty female, but that is really what they want with this series and at least he does not make it unbelievable. I have to specifically mention his work on the characters' hair. There is something about it that is just amazing, a kind of layered stringy look? It is hard to describe, but it is something that should just be checked out. His work on background images is also noteworthy.
Onto the colors by Mark Englert who has worked on Hack/Slash before, and I'm just going to say: color overload! All the colors are bright, even the blacks, greys and browns. Like exaggerated reality, it is all quite surreal. Although, for this comic it works and helps bring it all together in a package without the feeling of being too overwhelmed.
To sum it all up, I believe this comic has more potential than it has shown in this issue. The writing needs to be picked up a little, but the artwork is spot on. For people new to the series, like me, the comic actually has a brief bio on a few of the major players, so that does help with getting up to speed. If the quote I brought up before sits well with you, then this comic is definitely for you.