Advance Review – Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #1 (Image Comics)
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer(s): Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley
Artist: Emilio Laiso
Release Date: 2nd July 2014
When you’re a world renowned monster hunter, getting back into the real world after hanging up your baseball bat can be a tricky proposition. Picking up a few years after the final arc of Tim Seeley’s seminal series, Son of Samhain joins Cassie Hack as she struggles with her newfound bounty hunter career, blissfully unaware that she’s about to be dragged kicking and screaming back into the world of the supernatural. Well, someone’s going to be kicking and screaming, and if past experience has taught us anything, it may not necessarily be Cassie.
As with previous Hack/Slash titles, the key selling point here is the main character, and in that respect, Son of Samhain delivers in spades by featuring Cassie Hack at her dry, wisecracking, ass-kicking best. Moreci and Seeley clearly have a firm grasp on this compelling protagonist, and her sarcastic, witty comments will be more than familiar to long-time lovers of the series. Moreci has always had a gift for realistic, snappy dialogue, and that gift is on full display with the crackling banter between Cassie and her new partner Delroy that helps elevate this title above what could potentially be yet another generic, clichéd monster comic;
“Now these monsters of mine, they worship the god Attan-Soolu.”
“Never heard of him. Sounds like a Star Wars character.”
Emilio Laiso’s artwork does a great job of pushing the story forwards, and his characterisation in the talking scenes and kinetic sense of movement in the action scenes are both perfectly suited for a dynamic title like this. He also excels in the horror portions of the book, creating some truly memorable monsters and unnerving creatures to throw in the path of Cassie and Delroy.
I’ll fully admit to not being fully versed in the ten-year history of the Hack/Slash franchise, having only dipped in and out with the occasional arc, but I will say that if the rest of the back catalogue is anywhere near as amusing, dramatic and just plain fun as this issue, then it seems I have some serious back-issue buying to do.
The story itself hasn’t really gotten going yet, with this first issue merely laying the groundwork as its main focus lies Cassie’s return to the ‘game’ and first meeting with Delroy, but there are enough ‘ancient evils’ and ‘mysterious cults’ floating around to make me think that the real meat of the book is yet to come. Interestingly though, the title of the series isn’t really touched upon in this issue (at least not directly, although there is a new character introduced who may help in that regard), and there doesn’t seem to be any reference at all to former nemesis-slash-love-interest Samhain. Something for future issues I’d imagine, and yet another hook that’s going to have long-time readers coming back for more.
Overall, this issue serves as both a continuation of a beloved series, and a perfect jumping-on point for new readers. No prior knowledge is required to enjoy the awesomeness contained within these pages, although if you’re anything like me, you’re going to find yourself instantly wanting to dig into the archives to get your hands on more of Cassie Hack’s adventures.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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