Reader Beware: Hack Slash (Horror Comic)

Fair warning to all the kiddies out there, this comic is strictly for the mature crowd. The contents of this comic contains drugs, sex, and adult language. Reader discretion is advised.

Slashers are one of the most popular horror genres of all time. It would take me hours to count how many slasher franchises/movies have been made in movies alone. Famous slashers are basically household names. But what about the people who survive them? The Final Girls, as TV Tropes calls them. Some of them live happily ever after. Some of them are forced to try to survive sequels. And one of them becomes a hunter of hunters. This is Hack Slash.

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Cassie Hack is a survivor. Her mother was a serial killer who came back as a Slasher, an undead creature who can only murder. Cassie was able to take care of that problem. Now, she goes around the US looking for other Slashers to take care of along with her partner, a deformed hulk of a man named Vlad. Together, they protect the innocent (and some not-so-innocent) victims of Slashers of all kinds.

I first learned of the Hack Slash comics from the Longbox of the Damned, a show about horror comics that usually pops up around Halloween. The show described this comic series as “a tribute to every victim of a slasher movie.” That and a few other factors had me chomping at the bit to read this series. Now the Hack Slash series is probably the biggest comic series in my collection. The series is really unique, looking at the lives of these two “Slasher Slayers” as they work their way through slasher after slasher, saving those they can and avenging those they can’t. I also love that they seem to exist in a world occupied by quite a few different familiar faces from horror. If you’ve seen your fair share of movies, you’ll recognize Chucky and Dr. West, the Re-Animator, from their own series as they team up with Cassie and Vlad for their own reasons. They also team up with the Suicide Girls, which is an online website dedicated to models with tattoos.

Cassie and Vlad can seem a little “one dimensional” in some of their stories. She’s the badass with a bat, he’s the simple-minded muscle. However, even from the start of their series, they are very complicated. Cassie is definitely a badass, but she’s much deeper than just her ability to kill Slashers. She’s very conflicted about her feelings towards her mother, who became a killer to protect Cassie from bullies, and her father who left when she was a young girl. She’s also trying to discover her own sexuality as she has a major crush/love for a stripper woman named Georgia who she and Vlad save from a demonic singer. However, her feelings about being a (possible) lesbian are conflicted throughout her story.

Vlad is also a really deep and emotional character. He was born kind of deformed, so he was raised in a basement and (sort of) taught about the world by a butcher. When the butcher dies, Vlad has to walk the world in shadows and wearing a mask to hide his ugly face. Cassie and Vlad meet because she thinks he’s one of the Slashers at first. From that moment on, the start their beautiful, gore-filled partnership. Vlad has a naivete that’s really interesting to watch, but he’s not so naive that he’s completely ignorant about the world. He just prefers to see the good in others. Still, he’s superhumanly strong and he’s extremely loyal to Cassie and their friends.

Two more things to mention before we wrap up: The artwork and the stories. Now, Hack Slash started off as a long series of “one shots,” stories that were only really connected by the two main characters. After a while, it started gaining more continuity. Still, the artwork can be described as inconsistent. There’s always a different style/artist between each story. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I haven’t come across one comic in this series that I think is ugly. It just makes the whole thing seem a bit more disjointed than it should. The stories of this series are all great (at least from what I’ve read so far). They all try to make their slashers unique while also paying homage to one classic slasher or another. My favorite story has got to be Slice Hard, which pits our heroes against 5 really cool looking Slashers.

This series is great. It’s got awesome action, cool characters, and spectacular stories. It has got to be one of my favorite horror franchises of all time at this point. However, it DOES have a lot of adult themes, as I mentioned right at the start of this blog. If that bothers you, I suggest staying away. However, if you’re a really big fan of horror like I am, you’ll definitely want to check this out. It’s a fantastic Slasher series with a lot of guts.

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