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Hack/Slash: The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie

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Hack/Slash: The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie

Credits

  • Words: Tim Seeley
  • Art: Aadi Salman
  • Inks: Aadi Salman
  • Colors: Aadi Salman
  • Story Title: The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie
  • Price: $4.95
  • Release Date: Jun 2, 2005

The near-victim of a serial killer, Cassie Hack now hunts slashers, leading her to a showdown with Chaos! Comics’ legendary killer, Evil Ernie.

Writer Tim Seeley wastes no time in beginning the carnage one would expect from a Hack/Slash-Evil Ernie crossover, as readers find the Evil One busily killing big breasted blonde strippers (for love, of course). A newly re-animated victim provides the opportunity for Ernie’s ever-present sidekick, Smiley the Button, to relate the Evil One’s back-story. Seeley nicely condenses Ernie’s origin into 1 ½ pages, deftly introducing the character to new readers while establishing a post-Chaos! purpose for the killer (bonus points to Seeley for his handling of Lady Death, a character instrumental in Ernie’s origin, but that can no longer be included thanks to several of the Chaos! characters being sold off to different buyers when the publisher went bankrupt). Naturally, Ernie’s homicidal tendencies attract the attention of Cassie and her ally, Vlad, leading to the inevitable showdown. Ernie and Cassie’s first meeting proves to be painful for both, as the titular protagonists each realize that they aren’t so different from one another.

A slasher comic is miles apart from my usual reading material, and I hadn’t much enjoyed any of my past exposures to Chaos! Comics’ characters. About halfway through this book, I was surprised to realize that I was actually enjoying reading it. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Seeley makes Ernie a sympathetic character, but he does make the killer’s motives plausible and reasonable (reasonable at least, from Ernie’s twisted viewpoint). Cassie and Vlad, on the other hand, both come across as very sympathetic characters, as each are disturbed by the actions of Evil Ernie…and by the realization that either of them could quite easily have followed a similar path to the slasher. What impressed me even more about Seeley’s writing is that, as a reader unfamiliar was any of the characters in this crossover, I was easily able to drop into the story, without needing page after page of exposition or history. The result was a tight, enjoyable, stand-alone comic book. Some of the dialogue seemed clichéd at times, but given the nature of Ernie and Smiley, I wasn’t exactly expecting polished speech either. What did strike me as odd, was some of the handling of swearing and "mature situations" (Smiley graphically describes the scenes of a porn flick, but swears are replaced by @%*#). Hack/Slash: The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie isn’t a comic for kids, so you might as well go all out.

Aadi Salman isn’t a name I was familiar with, but certainly has a style that suits the dark nature of the title. With a look reminiscent to that of John Bolton, Salman creates an oppressive heavy air to compliment Seeley’s story. At times, facial expressions seem slightly off, but for mood alone, Salman is a talent deserving wider recognition (not just in the horror genre either – some of Salman’s other art is equally enjoyable as evidenced at www.aadisalman.com).

Hack/Slash: The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie isn’t a great work of comic art. While it may never stand shoulder-to-shoulder with comics such as Watchmen or Blankets, you can appreciate this comic for what it is – a well-done, fun horror/slasher comic.

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