Overview

Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #1

Review

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Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #1

Credits

  • Words: Tim Seeley
  • Art: Daniel Leister
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Jun 9, 2010

Tim Seeley, creator and writer of the fan favorite comic Hack/Slash, has chosen to begin the next era of his story with a reestablishment of the erstwhile Cassandra Hack and what makes her tick. As he uses a diary style device and voiceover, we’re privy to the disjointed, and at times, tragic train of thought to which young Cassie subjects herself.

She’s an abandoned sixteen year old girl living in foster care and attending an all girls private school. Years earlier, her mother snapped and would kill any classmate that would pick on Cassie. She was violently stopped, which leads to Cassie’s current abandoned status.

What makes her story even more tragic is the fact that artist Daniel Leister’s very first panel of her is a point of view shot of young Cassie holding a smoking gun and the corpse of her undead mother, two bullet holes in her head, laying beneath it. Did I mention that Cassie’s disgruntled and homicidal mother rose from the grave and resumed her business of chopping up classmates of her daughter’s?

What follows is the story of a troubled girl, transforming herself into a weapon. A blunt instrument determined to prevent what happened to her from happening to anyone else. The genius of what Seeley’s created with young Cassie is that he’s successfully juxtaposed differing archetypes, those of avenging vigilante and helpless teenage girl in a slasher film.

Most horror fans are familiar with the virginal and just female lead of the killer-on-a-rampage movies, films such as Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street. They’re often outsiders, no one believes them, and somewhere in or around the third act they take charge, fight back, and eventually vanquish evil (until the sequel). Imagine this female character, especially during that dynamic change from seemingly helpless to succeeding where others have failed.  Then stretch that moment of change into a permanent state of being. What you’re left with is someone like Cassie Hack, the ultimate prey becoming the ultimate hunter.

Cassie has been around for a few years, so for fans, her mission has been clear. What this new series acts as is an entry point for new readers as well as a thoughtful examination of a familiar character. It’s a Year One type of story, but seemingly offers a fresher point of view on her origin. This is my first foray into the world of Hack/Slash and I wasn’t lost for a second, but could recognize this as a purposeful retread. The same emotion was elicited when Fear Agent moved to Image Comics and their first arc was a prequel tale. A new story fused with an origin. It worked then and it seems to be working now with Hack/Slash.

As a new reader to the series, the most impressive quality of Hack/Slash was the balancing of tone. You can tell that there are parts of Seeley that are revering and lampooning the source material with equal excitement. In order to bend and misbehave with the rules of an established genre, you have to love them first. Mr. Tim Seeley is obviously in love with this story, which tends to be contagious. Not in a zombie virus kind of way, but in a good way, like… What’s contagious and good? Oh, you get my point.

If you like horror movies, but hate the predictability of it, you just might like Hack/Slash. If you like a female lead, but don’t think they always kick enough butt, you just might like Hack/Slash. If you’ve got respect for the genre, but love a good joke about it, then guess what? You just might like Hack/Slash.

If you hadn’t noticed by now, this is a great entry issue with solid art and scripting. It has a concept that’s handled with equal amounts respect and smirk. It’s pure entertainment and proud of it.

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Comments

  • Richard Boom

    Richard Boom May 20, 2010 at 6:38am

    now THAT is what I am talking about!
    WHOOOHOOOOO!!

  • Noel Bartocci

    Noel Bartocci May 20, 2010 at 8:52pm

    This was my first issue of Hack/Slash... needless to say, I want to pick up the Omnibus that's being reprinted in June. This is just fun stuff.

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