Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #1 Review

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After a long hiatus, minus a few crossovers, Cassie Hack returns in her own title.  Just like any horror icon, Hack/Slash won’t stay dead.  Is Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain a scary romp or proof some things are better left dead?  Major Spoilers has your review.

HackSlashSonOfSamhain_coverHACK/SLASH: SON OF SAMHAIN #1
Writer: Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley
Artist: Emilio Laiso
Letterer: Crank!
Colorist: K. Michael Russell
Editor: James Lowder
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50

Previously in Hack/Slash: After stopping Samhain and the Black Lamp Society, Cassie retires from the slasher killing business.  Vlad is dead, she’s broken up with her girlfriend Georgia and I believe Ash from Evil Dead showed up at some point.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF MONSTER

The true charm of Hack/Slash has always been its ability to craft a world very much like one seen in a slasher film.  Every villain has resembled some horror icon and Cassie is the antithesis of a “survivor girl.”  After Vlad’s death at the end of the series, I was sure it was over.  It was a bittersweet ending but Cassie without Vlad seemed so unnatural.  When I saw Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #1, I was excited but worried.  For the most part, my concerns were proved false.

We’re introduced to a new god, Attan-Soolu, a giant monster who ruled other monsters until humans rose up and drove them away.  In present day we see Cassie has left her old life behind and is a bounty hunter.  Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley came up with a perfect way to show Cassie trying to adjust to the real world.  She’s using skills developed killing slashers to instead catch criminals and it fits the character perfectly.  Soon, another bounty hunter of a different kind appears and enlists Cassie’s help to stop the monsters resurrecting Attan-Soolu.  A kid, who I can only assume is the titular “son,” is in the monsters’ grasp but he seems to be a little monstrous himself.  What Moreci and Seeley nail the best is Cassie’s character.  Her tough personality and cynical outlook has remained and carries over well from the end of Hack/Slash.  Bounty hunting is barely satiating Cassie’s true desire and her struggles with the loss of Vlad and Georgia are addressed well.  Cassie has always had sass but some quips between her and Delroy aren’t well written and come off as silly.

Moreci and Seeley are clearly trying to set up a new mythology but it doesn’t mesh well.  The monsters aren’t what I would expect to see in a Hack/Slash book and it’s somewhat incompatible.  While I found While I found the Black Lamp Society and the “slasher goo” needless and strange, they fit better in the Hack/Slash world.  Introducing new things like this take away some of what made Hack/Slash special.  It’s too early to say for sure but the creatures don’t seem to work, though it’s a decent start.

A PRETTY UGLY 

Emilio Laiso draws the hell out of this book.  From grotesque to sexy, he nails it all.  Even the tiny smirks on Cassie’s face are great and convey just how much she’s enjoying herself.  Every page is packed, nothing feels left out and the action flows smoothly.  And boy does he nail the horror and gore.  It’s rare that I’ve enjoyed looking at nasty images like this, even finding them pretty (of sorts).  Seeing Cassie dressed in clothes that covered most of her flesh was also a nice change of pace.  Cassie’s face sometimes morphs, such as the size of her nose, and was distracting at times.  Regardless, it little to worry about as so much of the issue is drawn very well.

BOTTOM LINE: A NICE RETURN, HOPEFULLY WITH NO SEQUEL CURSE

Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #1 is a decent start to the new Hack/Slash series.  The tone and characterization are nailed but the monsters feel out of place.  The art is what shines the most and a joy to look at, even the bloody parts.  Fans of Hack/Slash should definitely check it out and new readers won’t be very lost.  Moreci and Seeley can probably make it all work, I’m just hoping it won’t be another “sequel not as good as the original”.  Though, that may fit with the very nature of Hack/Slash, so…