With the news that Fox might be adapting Hack/Slash into film, it's time to give readers who may be unfamiliar with the comic a little background as I review the latest trade paperback, Death By Sequel. The book is published by Devil's Due Publishing and is really a fun, gory, and wild tribute to slasher films, especially the slasher films of the 1980's. Cassie Hack stars with her partner, Vlad, as the Batman & Robin of monster hunters, hunting down and killing supernatural serial killers ala Michael Myers and Jason Voorheis.
Cassie herself is the daughter of a serial killer, the diabolical "Lunch Lady", who killed all of the kids at Cassie's school who had hurt or made fun of her. Plain Jane Cassandra eventually grew up into a stunning, goth-dressing and butt-kicking avenger. Her partner in hunting is the behemoth Vlad, himself an outsider. Vlad's origin is told in this graphic novel. He was born deformed and abandoned in the trash. He was found by a kindly butcher, who raised him, and trained his body into a hulking mass of muscle. Vlad wears a gas mask to hide his hideous face.
This book collects two recent limited series' "The Land of Lost Toys" and "Slice hard". In the first story, Cassie and Vlad are investigating a series of killings in Mt. Healthy, Ohio. It seems that people are mysteriously dying in their dreams. The local comic nerd, still living in mom's basement, tells Cassie that he believes the killing are the work of a spirit named Ashley Guthrie, an awful little boy who killed his own brother for playing with his toys. Ashley was smothered to death by his mother who is now locked away in an asylum. Ashley doesn't want anyone to play with toys so he's returned from the grave to kill people in their sleep. Cassie can only face Ashley on his turf, while she sleeps…meaning she won't have Vlad there to help battle the little hellion.
Cassie and Vlad find themselves "detained" in "Slice Hard" by a corporation who has captured a number of supernatural serial killers including Acid Angel, Waking Man, and the ghoulish chef Hibachi Devil. They want to use the unique properties of these immortal killer's bodies to create regenerative cosmetics and they want Vlad and Cassie to help capture more. Cassie is aghast that they want to use these dangerous subjects for experimentation and sure enough, all hell breaks loose when they are released by yet another surprise fiend. Cassie and Vlad are now trapped in the facility with a half dozen of the most terrifying slashers in history!
Hack/Slash is always loads of fun…to go along with loads of blood and body parts. Writer Tim Seeley has created a tough and sexy heroine for the 21st century and I cannot wait to see this book adapted to the big screen. The art in the book is provided by a host of talented gentleman including Dave Crosland, Stefano Casseli, Joe Largent, Mike Norton, and Josh Medorns. This is a book that horror lovers can rejoice in!