Hack/Slash #16…Different Yet the Same

Review by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Hack/Slash Issue 16

Written by Justin Jordan, Art by Daniel Leister, Letters by Crank!, Colors by Mark Englert, Covers by Ryan Browne and Edwin Huang & Jim Zub, and Published by Image Comics. Retail Price $3.50

With issue 16, creator and writer Tim Seeley is handing the writing reins of Hack/Slash over to a guest writer.  Unbelievable?  Yes, but the man needs a break, a BIG break.  As one of the hardest working people in comics, Seeley’s also writing Bloodstrike, Witchblade and the upcoming series Revival with studiomate Mike Norton (Battlepug).  Hack/Slash readers are treated to a different take on the characters, which is always fun to see, from the writing talent of Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode) with the series artist team of Daniel Leister, Crank! and Mark Englert.  For the most part, this issue reads like the Hack/Slash we’ve come to know and love and because of that, Tim was hopefully able to enjoy a much deserved time off (though he was most likely thinking of adding another book to his to-do list before returning to H/S).

Vlad, sidelined with the flu from hell in the last couple of issues, is told there is a cure for his illness from a crazy doctor who specializes in the weird.  In order to create the cure, the Hack/Slash gang must track down Vlad’s kin.  This leads Vlad and Cassie to Chicago to find the Beanes, better known as The Family, but before the family reunion can begin, Cassie meets with an old friend of Vlad’s for help.  Unfortunately, the “friend” is locked in a bloody conflict with the family.  This conflict takes on a whole new level when Vlad and Cassie join in against the family when the battle lines are drawn.  Cassie introduces herself to Vlad’s uncle, Colin, but not before she introduces him to her bat.  The reunion is cut short in the issue and turns into more of a hostage situation that goes all sorts of Hack/Slash crazy.

Justin Jordan jumps right into the Hack/Slash world, capturing the voice of the characters like they were his own.  If the writing credit was not listed on the front of the book, it would be hard to tell it wasn’t Seeley scripting the book.  About the only thing Jordan does differently is that he uses witty banter a bit more, but by no means is that a knock on Jordan’s writing.  The banter is not overused and is well paced with the best example being the rapid fire exchange between Vlad and Cassie when she explains blogs and Google.

Artist Leister is performing his usual magic of balancing why readers both love and are disturbed by Cassie.  The art is highlighted in the characters’ expressions by his ability to capture a varying amount of emotions in their faces.  The covers for issue 16 were provided by Ryan Browne (God Hates Astronauts) and The Fright Channel favorites Edwin Huang and Jim Zub (SkullKickers).  The latter peaks our interest in seeing the creative teams from Hack/Slash and SkullKickers to maybe switch…?

Feedback is always welcomed at shaun@horrorhaven.com and sharon@horrorhaven.com.  Be sure to friend us on facebook, follow us on twitter @FrightChannel, and subscribe to our RSS feed so you’ll never miss any news and reviews.

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