By Dustin Cabeal
Something that happens a lot with creator-owned comics is that the creators end up writing them for years and years and it gets to the point that you have to wonder if they have anything left in the tank. The crazy thing is that by the time they get to this point, their title becomes a known quantity and something that people buy out of habit more than anything else. For instance, I couldn’t tell you anything happening in Spawn, but the book does quite well each month or at least well enough that it continues.
When Hack/Slash (which is annoying to type because it’s redundant) ended, it was pretty damn close to this point of habit buying. I had stopped reading it though because I didn’t feel as if it had anything left in the tank. Which made this new series so interesting, not only is it picking up where the last series left off, but Tim Seeley is no longer writing the story.
There is one significant obstacle removed from the series (at least for now), and that’s Vlad. One of the big reasons I stopped reading the series is that I realized his character didn’t do anything for the story other than providing emotional support for Cassie at the end of a, particularly rough mission. The rest of the time, he was out getting lunch. With him gone, it frees up so much of the story. There’s no more pretending that he’s relevant and Cassie is free to roam in the real world.
There’s a visual bait and switch at the beginning as we learn what Cassie is up to now that she’s given up monster hunting. She’s a video game streamer. It works. It didn’t blow me away or anything, but it works for the story. The art still has Cassie in her underwear and knee-high socks, and that just works. That’s Cassie. Not just because it’s sexy and sells to a male audience, but because for years and years Tim Seeley ingrained in the reader that this woman does not give a fuck about what you think she should wear. She sits around in her underwear because and this may shock some of you, women do that.
Cassie’s quiet time is interrupted by two zombies at her window. She decides to kill them and dump their body down a septic tank or something. That part was a bit confusing. Like, what is she doing with the bodies? After that she bails, taking her camper and getting on the road to be a camp counselor because fuck yeah, she should be a camp counselor. We do meet the guy creating the zombies, and he apparently knows Cassie on sight which seemed like bullshit. It’s not like she has a big online presence. I could understand knowing her from her handy work or reputation, but not just at first glance.
The writing is well paced. There’s never a spot that the story drags. Cassie’s character still feels a bit one-dimensional. The writing is relying on you already having a history with this character and that you’ll be carrying over that history. If you’re a new reader you’re not likely to understand that A) Cassie is a good guy or her emotional struggles that have led to her isolation. Vlad was near and dear to her and yet there isn’t even a hint of sadness. Sure, she thinks about it, but there’s no pickup shot in the art showing her struggling with the loneliness or shit, even having a night tremor or something. It just wasn’t deep. There are also some attempts at humor that didn’t land. The writing needs to find its own voice and put aside what came before. Otherwise, Seeley may as well just write the book again.
The art is definitely the best part of the comic. It’s the perfect style for Hack/Slash (which is still redundant to write). Cassie is beautiful and sexy (I mean she does walk around in her underwear, hard not to find that sexy), but also a bad ass when she flips the switch. The violence is moderate but sets a great tone and style for the series. Sometimes the old volumes were too focused on being in the horror style, but Cassie bucks that style with her own. The art here is beautiful to look at and captures Cassie’s presence.
Hack/Slash: Resurrection is off to an okay start. It’s a conundrum though, does it want to just continue where it left off and if so then it needs to make the tie and emotions to previous series deeper and more defined. If not, then it needs to develop Cassie’s character more for new readers to understand her better. Right now, it’s trying to do both and not being truly successful at either. It’s an okay issue, but it had the potential of a truly fresh start and seems to have missed the opportunity.
Hack/Slash: Resurrection #1