Review – Hack/Slash Resurrection #1 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Tini Howard
Artwork: Celor, K. Michael Russell (colours)
Release Date: 25th October 2017

To preface, I have never read any of Hack/Slash. It’s one of the big gaps in my reading. Luckily, Hack/Slash Resurrection #1 stands as a perfect entry point for new readers to this terrifying and comedic world of horror tropes, scary villains, blood, gore and attractive women.

Cassie Hack is the lone survivor of an attack by a Slasher (playing on classic horror villains like Jason or Freddy Krueger) who also happened to be her Mother. She then vowed, alongside partner Vlad, to travel the world and save others from the horrors of Slashers. That was, however, until Vlad died, and now Cassie has hidden herself in a trailer in the middle of no-where trying to live an incognito lifestyle. But, of course, her past will make sure she won’t be able to live peacefully, and this is where our series begins.

This first issue plays out like any classic “retired warrior” story. All that we need to know about Cassie’s past is captured in the blurb and we are provided with a cast of all-new villains to launch the series.

Writer Tini Howard manages to effortlessly set up both this world and Cassie herself as a strong protagonist. Cassie is smarmy, pants-less, talks to herself and hates everyone, but she still manages to be a likeable and interesting ‘hero’. She’s the perfect viewpoint for this horrifying reality, and her unique voice means that the exposition never feels like a chore to read as we take a tour around her environment to get a grip on just what this new series will deal with.

Howard really excels here as a comedy writer, using Cassie to her fullest comedic potential. In introducing the reader to her world, Cassie is played in this issue as a weird kind of ‘straight man’. She’s an angry recluse having to deal with her past life catching up with her as trouble after trouble is thrown her way. In every situation Howard blends both physical and verbal comedy as Cassie has no troubles expressing however she’s feeling through words or bat. Comedy is also littered well through exposition and story beats, meaning every joke is given perfect timing to land and the audience is never overwhelmed by joke-per-panel writing.

In equal measure, artist Celor and colourist K. Michael Russell breathe such life into this world. Celor’s art is brilliantly stylized, giving every character here a distinct visual persona that contributes to character and comedy just as much as Howard’s writing. The incredible cartooning also delivers stunning motion; every step, kick, bat swing and cup thrown drawn here has such a weight behind it, giving way to direction that keeps you moving from panel to panel without hesitation. Colouring by Russel only accentuates this. Dull tones are used to illustrate a quiet life in a trailer, brighter hues then used in the midst of a clothed Cassie mid fight against oozing Zombies, and terrifying, deep reds covering an evil scientist and a foreboding dream.

Hack/Slash Resurrection #1 is however, a purely setup issue. New motives and villains make themselves known, but with little action and a cliff-hanger ending, this issue shows that the story really begins next issue. Issue #1 may feel like an issue #0 and leave long-time fans a little unsatisfied, but the incredible work of Howard, Celor and Russel’ in this issue, alongside the faith Seeley has in this project, will make sure you’ll want to be here for when this story real kicks off next issue.

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Connor Stephens

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