Written by Drew Edwards
Drawn by David Baldeon
Inks by Scott D.M. Simmons
Edited by Russell Hillman
Published by Sugar Skull Media
Hack/Slash is a very interesting comic-book series, it was created about 10 years ago by Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli, and features a team of a young woman named Cassie and a big deformed guy named Vlad. They travel the country hunting down and killing what they call “slashers”. These are usually undead killers, similar to Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, etc., all with their own colorful origins and motivations. They started as a series of one-shots and miniseries and have had two different ongoing series, first on Devil’s Due Publications and then on Image Comics. There have been some crossovers where they gone up against established characters like Chucky from Child’s Play, and Ash from Army of Darkness, and Victor Crowley from the Hatchet films. It’s an interesting title that I recommend you check out.
In this special issue, Cassie and Vlad team up with Drew Edwards’ quirky zombie-fied superhero, Halloween Man. Well, “team-up” may be the wrong phrase, as they’re actually sent to kill him, believing him to be a slasher. It starts with Cassie and Vlad in San Antonio doing their thing, preparing to kill a deranged woman with a donkey head (I told you it’s an interesting title), when they’re greeted by what appears to be a young girl in some kind of sailor’s uniform, who calls herself the Brainchild and says she’s from a parallel Earth. She talks them to through a gateway and sends them to Solomon’s world, where they arrive in Solar City and are told to hunt down Solomon and kill him.
What follows is the pretty standard “superhero crossover story”. The heroes fight and then realize that they’re on the same side and team-up to fight the real common enemy. It’s traditional, it’s cliche, and that’s why it works, because Drew acknowledges how cliche it is, and writes it so that the characters realize it. The whole story is full of meta commentary and in-jokes about mainstream comic-books, including the appearance of a zombie-fied group of monsters called The Revengers, loosely based on The Avengers. There’s also Lucy with her super-science being aided by Morlack and his knowledge of dark magic. Drew does a good job of not only maintaining his usual quality on his own characters, but also the way he writes Cassie and Vlad. I think it helps that they already have a similar dynamic (although not romantic) to Solomon and Lucy, so everyone sounds natural and like themselves. And since the threat they end up facing is much larger than either duo usually faces, he also does a good job of portraying the danger, and showing how serious this threat is. Solomon and Cassie in particular get a good scene alone together.
David Baladeon does an excellent job drawing this story, able to draw beautiful women and horrible monsters equally well. The art just leaps off the page, I was very impressed with his work here.
This issue also include and extra 22-page story called SOLOMON X, also written by Drew, and draw by series regular Sergio Calvert. Brainchild returns, and attempts to get revenge on Solomon, by sicking a masked man armed with a knife that can kill even him after him. This is a story that has several twists and turns, including time travel, before it’s over. It’s good stuff, and could be an issue all by itself. But combined with the main story, this issue gives you around 60 pages of entertainment, all for just $1.99! Can’t beat that.