Overview

Hack/Slash #29

Review

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Hack/Slash #29

Credits

  • Words: Tim Seeley
  • Art: Chris Burnham, Ross Campbell, Daniel Leister, et al.
  • Inks: Ross Campbell, Daniel Leister, Jason Millet, et al.
  • Colors: Mark Englert & Jason Millet
  • Story Title: Super Sleepover Sidekick Slaughter! (Prequel)
  • Publisher: Devil's Due Publishing
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Jan 6, 2010

All the little “stuff” over the past several months starts coming together in the prologue chapter to Hack/Slash’s “Super Sidekick Sleepover Slaughter!”

Right up front, I’ll say I’m a huge fan of this title, so from my perspective, I thought this was a great issue.  Stepping back for a fresh point-of-view, I’m not entirely certain I’d recommend this for a new reader starting point – not so much from the standpoint that it would be difficult to follow, but more so that it doesn’t really show what Hack/Slash is all about.

At the risk of sounding more like a disclaimer than a review, this issue introduces superheroes into the Hack/Slash universe (don’t panic, fellow fans of the slasher genre, these aren’t invulnerable, move-the-planet heroes, but rather Golden Age-esque “mystery men”).  Flowing nicely out of last issue’s Archie homage, the histories of Nightmare and Sleepy are presented in the format of comic book stories within the book, giving the various artists lots of room to play.  In the course of these tales, the depth of (somewhat) sympathetic slasher, Samhain, and the Black Lamp Society’s involvements in the Hack/Slash world become clearer.  Finally, following some fun nods to past projects, Seeley ties up the story with a nice revelation/tease with the first on panel appearance of late-night talk radio host, Alan Knight.

The art is a little more challenging to dissect, without specific page credits listed.  The mixed bag of work suited the structure of the story, but seems somehow appropriate given that new regular penciller, Daniel Leister officially takes over next month (the past several issues have been covered by a variety of artists, some good, some horrible, but none holding a candle to Emily Stone).  While series leads Cassie Hack and Vlad barely appear in this issue, it may be a blessing in disguise, as they are drawn incredibly creepy in the framing sequence, looking more like kewpie dolls than the protagonists of the saga.  From a visual design standpoint, the Golden Age Nightmare and Sleepy story packs the most artistic punch, not only invoking that traditional feel, but also for the replicated yellowing of the comic book pages.  Its Silver Age counterpart wasn’t quite as successful, good overall but feeling more reminiscent of Marvels: Eye of the Camera than a true retro homage.

So where does that leave us?  For regular Hack/Slash readers – chomping at the bit, waiting for “Super Sidekick Sleepover Slaughter!” to kick off in earnest next month after some great teases (both in terms of story and with a look at what Leister will bring to the book).  For newcomers, issue #29 should be accessible enough, but considering the book is all about introducing some very traditional comic book types into the Hack/Slash world, it may not really show what makes this series great.

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