Gee golly, that’s a lot of blood

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Tim Seely’s Hack/Slash hits issue 20 and through it all, Cassie Hack and her sidekick Vlad have literally hacked and slashed their way from one end of the country to the next as the duo (and friends) take down slashers in some really gruesome ways.  With the trouble Devil’s Due had with the Reanimator story arc, I’m glad the series was able to make it through the storm, but what of the beloved goth girl and her monster friend?

hackslash20cover.jpgI’ve always had mixed feelings when it comes to Hack/Slash.  On the one hand, there’s a really hot goth girl, drawn by Kevin Mellon, who has identity and sexual issues, and who usually ends up wearing skimpy outfits or less from one issue to the next.  On the other hand, Cassie’s pursuit of slashers has lead to a lot of graphic blood and guts splattered on the screen in a display that worse than you’d find in any slasher flick on the silver screen.  And while the blood and guts horror genre is not my thing — says the guy who just finished a review of Army of Darkness — there’s something about this series that keeps pulling me back to check and see what is going on.

This issue finds Cassie up excrement creek as she’s been arrested in connection with a series of murders.  Not having read the beginning of this arc, and knowing Cassie does kill quite a bit (all in self defense, honest officer), it shouldn’t come as a surprise to readers that she’s in the situation the issue opens with.  From there it goes from bad to worse, as her transfer to county is hijacked by a group of slasher, each more deranged than the next.  Cassie is able to defend herself from the giant dildoes, knife wielders, and those that want you to put the lotion on the skin, or you’ll get the hose again.

Yes, there are giant dildoes in this issue – and not the stupid kind that generally find themselves in the position of governmental power.  And yes, Cassie does know how to use a dildo to get herself out of a very tight situation.

Beyond the sexual innuendoes and the 10 page slug fest that puts life and limb on the line, there is an interesting side story that has Vlad and Georgia discussing the role each plays in Cassie’s life.  Is she gay?  Isn’t she gay?  Is Vlad a distraction, no longer needed in the new dynamic duo?  There aren’t any resolutions here, but it is an ongoing subplot that is going to reach a boil eventually.

The story jumps around in this issue a bit, combining flashback, parallel story telling, and an appearance from the demon dog from Hell. Jumping into the middle of the story arc is going to confuse new readers, and if you’re more into the pretty pictures of half nekkid girls, certain moments of this issue will have the reader confused.  For the most part, I like the pacing, as Seely is able to break the action just before the scene runs its course thus bogging the story down with unnecessary exposition.

For the most part, I’m glad I’ve kept this series on my pull list. If you like the slasher-flick genre, and just want to jump in for a quick read, it’s not too difficult to pick up on what is going on.  Hack/Slash remains fresh even after 20 issues and numerous one-shots, and those looking for an indie title that is definitely not a superhero comic, Hack/Slash is a very interesting read. Issue #20 kept my interest, and ends up earning 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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