Categorized | Comics

Hack/Slash Omnibus Graphic Novel Review

Posted on August 14, 2008 by Monica Valentinelli

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Do you like slasher films? How about the one where this really, gorgeous girl gets chased by a guy in mask? Ever wonder what would happen if the girl fought back?

Enter Cassie Hack, a girl with a violent past. You see, Cassie wasn’t well-liked as a teenager in her school; kids would taunt her, call her a freak. Her mom–in her own, over-protective way–tried to stand up for her daughter by killing those vicious snobs and serving them up to other students as mystery meat. Of course, with an influx of protein into the diets of those kind, innocent kids, someone had to notice. When Mrs. Hack was confronted to pay for her crimes, she committed suicide by sticking her head in a pot of boiling gravy.

The Hack/Slash Omnibus is a collection of several comics, short stories, sketches, interviews, and material covering the Hack/Slash stage play. In this one collection, you get crossovers with horror icons Chucky and Evil Ernie. Here is a full list of the content you get in the Hack/Slash Omnibus:

The Collection combines EUTHANIZED, GIRLS GONE DEAD, COMIC BOOK CARNAGE, THE LAND OF LOST TOYS #1-3, TRAILERS, SLICE HARD prequel and SLICE HARD, both hellish crossovers with CHUCKY & EVIL ERNIE into one bloody (and hilarious) volume. Plus a bonus short story: SLASHING THROUGH THE SNOW. Also includes over 40 pages sketches, designs, interviews, and an in-depth report on the Hack/Slash stage play. Source–Back Cover of Hack/Slash Omnibus

Not for the faint-of-heart, Hack/Slash is a re-imagining, a girl’s revenge on the world “if” she had the power to take down the slashers.

And she does. Together with Vlad, a monstrously-shaped figure with a heart of gold, they encounter everything from demon-possessed pets to a psychotic dream world. Told in a cinematic style, Hack/Slash combines larger-than-life horror slasher films with a little bit of tease, a lot of kicking butt, and a whole lot of blood.

The artwork shifts and changes with each comic as a team of artists, pencilers and colorists breathe life into Cassie Hack and her slasher-filled world. Writer Tim Seeley retains the feel of Hack/Slash throughout all of the material; many of the stories are a play on popular culture which works for the cinematic style. Tim does an excellent job of describing the mythos without “overdoing” it:

CASSIE HACK: A slasher. It’s a type of undead, I guess… Sort’ve like a vampire or a zombie. They’re so full of anger that they don’t wanna die. They hate love, youth, sex… Things they miss. From life. All I know for sure is that they’re mean and hard to kill.
NOT-SO-INNOCENT VICTIM: How do you know all of this?
CASSIE HACK: Because, I’m Cassie Hack. I’m mean, I’m hard to kill, and I hunt slashers. –SOURCE: Hack/Slash EUTHANIZED

One of the things that I liked about the stories presented in Hack/Slash Omnibus, is that they aren’t as straightforward as you might expect. Each of the slashers presented has a backstory that sheds light on why they might have become a slasher. Laura and Father Wrath in GIRLS GONE DEAD are a play upon modern morals and stretching religious justifications to commit murder. Lloyd and the wunderkind in COMIC BOOK CARNAGE, although a “bit” disturbingly gross, believes that they’re the good guys taking down those supervillains. In SLICE HARD, scientists “collect” slashers and use Cassie’s emotions against her to capture more of them.

Cassie and Vlad, that unlikely duo of slasher hunters, are troubled in their own way. Vlad can never show his true face in public without scaring people; throughout the series you understand why he follows Cassie and how his nostalgic past affects him. Cassie never feels as if she truly belongs–when she does things she considers “normal” and “human” she simultaneously revels in it and hates it. Deep down inside, she knows she’ll never be a part of humanity because she’s too busy escaping her past, trying to save the lives of people that may or may not deserve to be saved.

In Hack/Slash Omnibus, no one is truly innocent in this world. A roller coaster of a ride parodying real-life slasher films, this collection is a lot of fun and very colorful. With artwork ranging from pastel styles to anime and traditional penciling, each of the stories lends a visual eye to the world of the slasher. Hack/Slash Omnibus is a gory, sexy, violent collection where everyone is either a victim or victimized in their own way–even the slashers that get theirs in the end.

With a cover price of $34.99, there is plenty of material above-and-beyond reprints of the individual issues to please any fan in this Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli production from Devil’s Due Publishing. Not for people who prefer thrillers or psychological horror, Hack/Slash Omnibus celebrates slasher films, so if you’re looking for something with more drama and suspense with a little less tease–this is not the collection for you. Did you enjoy Buffy: the Vampire Slayer? How about the Anita Blake comics? Then Hack/Slash is perfect for you.

If you do like the things that go HRRRK, BLEEEAAAH and PLUNK in the night, you’d better look over your shoulder because you never know when a slasher is coming after you.

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2 Responses to “Hack/Slash Omnibus Graphic Novel Review”

  1. mxyzplk says:

    I don’t buy many comics nowadays, but I bought this based on seeing it on the shelf at the local gaming store. It’s great stuff!

    Side note, why are RPGs such kiddie crap? Even a comic like this would be “too edgy” for most horror RPGs and frankly it’s PG-13.

  2. Monica says:

    Can you be a little more specific? What horror RPGs do you think are “kiddie crap?” As a horror game designer, I can put you in touch with several titles that are definitely not for kids.

    Licensing aside, an RPG based on Hack/Slash would be a great idea, actually.

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