By Dustin Cabeal
Crossover comics are not my thing. Rarely, if ever do, they prevent something relevant for either franchise and typically just ends up being two heroes fighting each other. Trying to figure out who the bad guy is, ultimately teaming up and easily defeating the villain, while everyone gets their shit in. It’s the equivalent of an after Pay-per-view Wrestling event in which new storylines are being developed, and jackasses are just running into the ring. Oh, they’re gonna fight each other next… why am I watching this then?
Unfortunately for this book, it’s set in in Vegas and with the recent events. It’s going to seem like a poorly planned comic book. In reality, this comic finished months ago but due to shipping and schedule, released this week, when it was planned to release three months ago. Some comic book fans will be aware of this and not be phased by it if they still enjoy Hack/Slash or Vampirella. Others, unfortunately, are going to avoid it, because it might hit too close to home for them and that’s fine. But just be aware that the creators didn’t plan any of this to coincide with the unforeseen events that occurred this week.
The story follows Cassie and Vlad as they go on vacation to Vegas. There’s no necessary backstory to understand you just need to know these two characters and that they are on vacation. It doesn’t ask you to know any other stories or information about the two of them that way when they get wrapped up in a new serial murder that’s going on; you understand this doesn’t fit in with the rest of their universe. Eventually, they cross paths with Vampirella and as these crossovers tend to do both parties think that the other is the villain that they are hunting. Because that would just be so easy and random, “Oh you killed them and took his heart, and here we are both back at the same hotel where there are no other hearts to take… gotcha now bad guy!” Thankfully they don’t fight but instead just kinda have a weird pissing contest.
“This is what I do!”
“Well, this is what I do!”
“Now the cops are here!”
Then they do run into the bad guy who has a new heart, and I was like, wow… a little too easy.
If you like crossover books and you like these characters, of course, you’re gonna like the writing. It plays it safe and doesn’t do anything out of character. It doesn’t even really trying to advance any of the characters. There are even some self-aware jokes, but for the most part, it’s just an average book telling the story of these two franchises meeting. Thankfully the art is better than average.
The artwork is actually detailed and at times better than when I remember being on Hack/Slash the main series. On the Vampirella side, it’s the new costume design which I wasn’t a fan of, but that said here it worked, and they gave her some vampire wings that look pretty damn good. The coloring is vibrant, but with muted tones that match the horror theme of the story. Frankly, the artist could be trusted to tell more of the story because a lot of it just seems unnecessary with the dialogue. Again, pissing contest when the visual was more than clear to the audience.
Again, if you like this character isn’t even waiting for the crossover, of course, you’re going to like it. If like me you had good experiences with both characters individually then you’re probably not going to find much to like here. It’s a crossover book; the villain is going to be easily defeated, everyone is going to get their shit in, and that’s all this is about. It’s just a reminder that these two franchises exist while catering to fans of both properties. I’m not mad at it. It’s not offensive as a lot of crossovers are, but it’s also not very interesting nor that entertaining to read. You’ve already decided if you’re going to buy this or not and that’s fine.
Hack/Slash – Vampirella #1