Comic Review: Comic Review: Hack/Slash – Omnibus Five

Published on: June 12th, 2012
Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Dan Leister, Elena Casagrande, James Lowder

Devil’s Due Publishing, Image Comics, 300 Pages

Review:

I really loved this series back in the day when it was new and fresh. Reading this fifth and final omnibus, however, makes me kinda glad that this series wrapped up. I don’t know why but it lost its luster for me. I know other people still like it but it just feels like it is moving without a clear direction as to where it’s going. But this does end with the series’ official finale.

I’m several years behind on reading these stories but I’ve spent over a decade with Cassie Hack and Vlad and I do love them but even they seem like they’re bored with the proceedings. Tim Seeley has done well with his creation but this just feels like he was ready to move on and put his focus on his other work.

Most of this book just feels like filler that is working towards winding down but also taking its sweet time in doing so. There is an interesting Mercy Sparx crossover thrown in, which was cool to see but not anywhere near as exciting as some of the other crossovers from Hack/Slash‘s past.

When you do reach the finale, which is a story stretched over the final six issues in this collection, it is kind of welcomed. I thought that finale was actually the best part of the book. Granted, the first story dealing with a monster island of kaiju and a mad scientist was also kind of neat.

I do like how this wrapped up even if the characters don’t get a very happy ending. The ending had impact and real finality to it and any return to the series would cheapen it. It’s not the ending I wanted to see but it did bring closure where so many other comic series that call it quits, leave the door wide open for eventual followups.

This series was its strongest when it was at Devil’s Due before moving over to Image due to Devil’s Due’s financial woes. Tim Seeley gave us a damn good series though, overall.

Rating: 6.5/10
Pairs well with: The other Hack/Slash omnibuses. But They should be read in order.

Comic Review: Hack/Slash – Omnibus Four

Published on: June 12th, 2012
Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Dan Leister, Erik Larsen

Devil’s Due Publishing, Image Comics, 300 Pages

Review:

It has been a really long time since I first picked up Hack/Slash and even though I’ve read through the first three omnibuses a few times, I hadn’t picked up the fourth and fifth until recently.

I forgot how much I enjoyed this series. It’s perfect for fans of ’80s era slasher films and it brings me right back tot hat special place where I was a young kid perusing the aisles of mom and pop video stores looking for the next low budget slasher flick.

Where something like this could easily run its course and get repetitive, Tim Seely keeps things fresh and new and knows how to write complex and interesting characters.

The stories in this collection start to steer the series in new ways. Cassie decides that her and Vlad need to go it alone, as all their allies are constantly in danger due to their association. Also, we learn much more about the Black Lamp Society and Samhain. Additionally, some of the classic villains from earlier stories start to return to be thorns in Cassie and Vlad’s sides.

I wasn’t sure if this collection would have any cool crossovers in it and they don’t come till the end. There is a really well done crossover with Victor Crowley of the Hatchet film series. That one is then followed up by a crossover with Zombies vs. Cheerleaders, which I don’t know much about but it is a comic series and a card game. I’ll check out some of the comics in the future.

I liked the stories collected here and things felt new again with some of the narrative shifts.

Rating: 8/10
Pairs well with: The other Hack/Slash omnibuses. But They should be read in order.

Comic Review: Hack/Slash – Omnibus Three

Published on: December 21st, 2010
Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Tim Seeley, Bryan Baugh, Kevin Mellon

Devil’s Due Publishing, Image Comics, 300 Pages

Review:

It has been a few years since I’ve read through the Hack/Slash series but it is my favorite horror comic. I read this omnibus back when it first came out and since I just recently picked up the fourth and fifth omnibuses, I’m revisiting the first three to refresh my memory.

Out of the first three, this one is my least favorite. Granted, it is still thoroughly enjoyable. It has longer stories but some of them feel like filler without as much action as there was in the earlier volumes. Also, the number of slashers in this entry isn’t as large as the earlier stories.

However, at this point in the series, we get more stability. New villains pop up that are bigger than just being one off or two off threats. Samhain, for instance, feels like a presence that will maintain an important position throughout the series as it keeps going. But is Samhain even a villain? Or is he an antihero that out antiheroes our regular antiheroes? He’s a complex and interesting character, almost like the Deadpool of the Hack/Slash universe.

There is a lot more emotional baggage that comes forward in these stories, which contributes to the action not being as much in the forefront as it was previously. That’s okay, as Cassie is dealing with the death of her parents in a really awful way. This book deals with her sorting that out and figuring out what her real place is in the world and how that is going to effect Vlad and others close to her.

While I love the variety in art styles that grace the pages of comic books, this omnibus has so many drastic changes in style that it is a distraction. Maybe seeing each issue as a separate piece is a better way to approach it but as I was thumbing through the pages of this big collection, it just jumped around too much stylistically and the changes were quite drastic. Not to say any of the art was bad, it was all good but it messes with the tone.

This third omnibus sits in the middle of the five. This is the Wednesday of the series, or the hump day. It connects the beginning with the end and is a bridge that looks back at what’s happened and sets the stage for what’s still to come. It mostly works and it still leaves me excited to finally read the last two books and to see how the end of this story plays out.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: The other Hack/Slash omnibus collections.

Comic Review: Hack/Slash – Omnibus Two

Published on: September 28th, 2010
Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Emily Stone, Rebekah Isaacs

Devil’s Due Publishing, Image Comics, 300 Pages

Review:

Reworking my way through the Hack/Slash comic series, I have now finished the second omnibus.

Revisiting this series has been a lot of fun and I’m doing it to refresh my memory, as I am a bit behind and need to read the fourth and fifth omnibuses, as I last stopped at the third.

In this collection, the series really finds its footing. The series begins to really take shape, as Cassie Hack’s team of allies start to come together to create something bigger than just her and Vlad taking on slashers. The people she has saved and helped, up to this point, want to assist her in her noble fight by putting their talents to use from wherever they are.

The stories in this volume are more fleshed out and not just one-offs. This collection is also capped off with a crossover between Hack/Slash and Re-Animator. In fact, the Re-Animator story works as a sequel to the film series, following the events of the three movies but tying the character of Dr. Herbert West to the family affairs of Cassie Hack.

This omnibus has a good mix of artists. One story in the book also takes on the form of a classic Archie comic in its visual style.

Cassie and Vlad’s relationship develops deeper and we also get to see possible love interests for both characters enter the picture. Plus, we get the introduction of my favorite demon dog Pooch, a talking, grotesque but very comedic mutt from the depths of Nef, a special kind of Lovecraftian Hell.

I prefer this omnibus to the first, even though the first was a great introduction to the series. Now the series feels more lived in, the characters have more depth and the relationships are blossoming into something more complex than just victims appreciating the hero. The emotionally complex hero now has people that she can put that emotion into, as well as her trust.

Rating: 9/10
Pairs well with: The other Hack/Slash omnibus collections.

Comic Review: Hack/Slash – Omnibus One

Published on: August 31st, 2010
Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Stefano Caselli, Dave Crosland, Skottie Young

Devil’s Due Publishing, Image Comics, 300 Pages

Review:

Since it is just about time for Halloween, I wanted to revisit my favorite horror comic book series. No, it isn’t The Walking Dead, it is this great series by Tim Seeley and originally Devil’s Due Publishing (before Image Comics picked up the series).

I didn’t read Hack/Slash until the first omnibus was published. Since then, there have been five omnibuses to date, each coming in at around 300 pages, which equates to about ten regular sized comic books. This one covers the first several stories put to paper.

Hack/Slash follows Casey Hack, a girl who is an outsider that would rather hunt down slashers than try to conform to a normal life. She is aided by her very large sidekick Vlad, a Hulk-sized slasher looking guy in a gas mask. The slashers that she hunts are of the Hollywood variety. They aren’t just gimmicky serial killers though, they are essentially undead and incredibly hard to kill like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers.

In this omnibus, we get the first story, see Cassie and Vlad’s origins and get to see them take on a myriad of evil slashers. We even get to see her face off against Chucky and Eddie the Head, the mascot of the thrash metal band Iron Maiden.

The stories are well-drawn and the plots are really entertaining. Hack/Slash uses a lot of humor to balance out the horror and dread. It feels like a true throwback to the 1980s slasher era and adds in a mix of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although, Cassie is much cooler than Buffy and Vlad is a better sidekick than any of the people from the Buffyverse.

This is one of my favorite comic book series of all-time and this is the best starting point for anyone who wants to check it out.

Rating: 8.25/10
Pairs well with: The other Hack/Slash omnibus collections.