Definitions

Hack/Slash

Hack/Slash

Hack/Slash is a series of comic books published by Devil's Due Publishing that has also been adapted into a stage play and a feature film.

The series, starting as a series of one-shots, was created by writer and sometime penciller Tim Seeley.

The focus of the series is on a horror victim, Cassie, who strikes back at the monsters, known as "slashers", with Vlad, a freakish man who frequently wears a gas mask.

Publication history

The property started in 2004 as a series of one-shots, starting with the Stefano Caselli-penciled Hack/Slash (later referred to by its story title Euthanized), followed by the Federica Manfredi-penciled Girls Gone Dead.

2005 saw the one-shots Comic Book Carnage and the series stars, Vlad and Cassie, appeared in the Aadi Salman penciled The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie. The "Hack/Slash" one shots were collected as the First Cut trade paperback in the same year. The first "Hack/Slash" miniseries debuted, Land of Lost Toys, penciled by Dave Crosland, followed by a collection of new short stories in a 2006 special issue called Trailers (featuring art by writer Tim Seeley, original penciler Casseli, Mike Norton, Skottie Young and Josh Medors).

A 25-cent preview issue giving newcomers a recap of "Euthanized" hit the markets in 2006, along with "Slice Hard", the first one-shot of 2006. Seeley penciled the new part of the preview and was one of the pencilers and inkers of the one-shot along with Mike Englert, Nate Bellgarde, Andy Kuhn and Joe Largent. The one-shot Hack/Slash Vs. Chucky, had the lead duo taking on the evil doll and was penciled by Matt Merhoff.

2007 had a Free Comic Day tie-in with Devil's Due's "Family Guy", where both books had half the issue to itself. The "Hack/Slash" section had a the recap portion of the 25 cent preview issue. "Hack/Slash" graduated to an ongoing series in May 2007.

Future storylines for the series include an Oz-related story and a crossover with Re-Animator, where Herbert West is tied in to her father, as well a Hack/Slash Annual collecting the webcomic featuring the SuicideGirls photo shoot.

Characters

Major characters

Cassandra "Cassie" Hack - An attractive, yet tough-as-nails, fearless loudmouth. Hunts slashers with her partner, Vlad.

Vlad - The enigmatic partner of Cassie, Vlad is a big, muscular, disfigured man, who wears a gas mask and brandishes two big meat cleavers. Met by Cassie when they were both stalking the "Meatman Killer", Cassie soon befriended him. There's not much known about Vlad, not even his full name, but he seems very aware of his unconventional looks, which prompts him to wear the gas mask. According to Vlad, he was raised by a butcher who rescued him from a garbage can. The butcher served as his only human contact. He used comic books to teach Vlad; he also taught Vlad how to use knives to help him adjust to his deformities. When the butcher died, Vlad was forced to go outside where rumors of the Meat Man started and he eventually met Cassie. Vlad's relationship with Cassie is quite paternal, as Vlad seems utterly concerned with his "little one's" well being. Quite naive, but well-versed in strategy and battle skills, Vlad doubles as the "muscle" of the team, and as a sort of guardian for Cassie, counseling and comforting her when it's needed.

Minor characters

Chris and Lisa - Lisa was introduced in Hack/Slash: Euthanized as the girlfriend of Kyle. Chris appeared later in Hack/Slash: Land of Lost Toys #1 as the geeky roommate of Jason. Both survived the Slasher attacks in their respective stories and because of this reappeared in Hack/Slash vs Chucky as two of the potential victims of Laura Lochs. They are now in a relationship and living together. Together they have formed Hack/Slash Inc, a website for Slasher survivors.

Margaret Crump aka Georgia Peaches - Georgia is a recurring character in Hack/Slash, who is currently a potential love interest for Cassie. Introduced in Hack/Slash #2 as a stripper who was a fan of the band, Acid Washed. Was sent to "hell" by the band along with Cassie as virgin sacrifices. During their time caged up together, Cassie and Georgia discussed Cassie's lack of a sex life and her orientation, which she is still unsure of. This lead to Georgia suggesting that were they not chained up, they could have sex with each other in order to become "impure" and therefore escape. Since escaping from "hell", Cassie and Georgia have been keeping in touch by phoning each other every day. In Hack/Slash #8, Cassie fantasizes about kissing Georgia, suggesting that Georgia's previous suggestion about Cassie being gay may actually be correct.

Slashers

Slashers (known to the government as "Revenants") are the beings that Cassie and Vlad hunt down. Slashers as a whole can be divided into two broad categories. The first and most common are the undead variety. These are people who died while filled with rage toward life and somehow return from the dead filled with only that rage driving them to kill. While their exact abilities vary individually all possess resistance to damage and must suffer severe bodily harm to be killed. This kind can be controlled by the proper magics and once their body has been sufficiently destroyed usually stay dead. The other kind are people who are still alive, but are often insane and engage in Slasher behavior. They can be killed by normal means.

One-Shots/Limited Series

Euthanized

Vlad and Cassie must battle Bobby, a vengeful, undead slasher with the ability to control dead animals. Bobby was revealed to have been a mentally handicapped veterinary assistant accidentally murdered by the vet's fiance. This issue has a 4 page origin for Cassie, whose mother's backstory as a killer and slasher are yet to be expanded upon.

Girls Gone Dead

Vlad and Cassie battle Father Wrath, a slasher being controlled by a devoutly crazy Catholic schoolgirl, Laura Lochs. Father Wrath was a traveling baptist preacher, who was murdered by his nephew when he tried to sexually assault him. The revived Wrath emerged as an evil killer.

Comic Book Carnage

Vlad and Cassie must deal with a human murderer, Lloyd Sundermann with a parasitic twin, Jimmy at a comic book convention. Breaking the fourth wall of sorts, the murderer and his brother go after Steve Niles, Scottie Young, and Robert Kirkman, real-life comic book creators, and murder them for turning an "innocent" golden age hero into a brooding "modern" hero.

The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie

Cassie and Vlad battle Evil Ernie, who awakens in a new reality (the Hack/Slash world) with Ernie falling in love with Cassie. After Cassie is fatally wounded, Ernie sacrifices his life to revive her, and is reborn in a new reality elsewhere.

Land of Lost Toys

Cassie and Vlad battle an undead child, Ashley Guthrie, with the ability to kill you in your dreams. They find out his mother killed him (because he was a horrible child), but he was reborn in the dream plane (ala Freddy Krueger). Using toys to murder his victims, Cassie kills Ashley, but his spirit possesses the teddy bear his mother smothered him with. Vlad's origin has a 4 page spread similar to Cassie's.

Trailers

Short 2-3 page "trailers" of books. So far, only "Tub Club" has been fully expanded, but one of the stories evolves out of "Girls Gone Dead" and "Comic Book Carnage", leading to "Vs Chucky". One of the trailers has Cassie and Vlad take down slasher Hibachi Devil, who reappears in "Slice Hard".

25-cent Preview

"Euthanized"'s 4 page spread (Cassie's origin) is reprinted, along with a lead-in to "Slice Hard" where Vlad and Cassie are captured by a corporation.

Slice Hard

Several slashers (Hibachi Devil, Acid Angel, Mortimer Strick, X-O, and Waking Man), most featured in Cassie's origin, and never actually encountered in the comic series to date, are held prisoner by a company run by Emily Christy, a former Ms. America, that wants to use the slashers to develop anti-aging remedies. If a captured Cassie agrees to help capture the slashers, the company promises to use plastic surgery on Vlad. Ashley, now in a stuffed bear body, has other ideas when it breaks in and frees the slashers, who go after the director, Cassie, and Vlad. In the process, all the slashers are defeated, but Christy uses the "slasher formula" on herself, becoming a new slasher, named Ms. America.

Vs. Chucky

Cassie and Vlad take on Chucky in a story taking place after the film Seed of Chucky. Serves as a sequel to "Girls Gone Dead".

HACKoween

It was announced that a crossover with webcomic Halloween Man would be released online on October 15th.

Ongoing Series

Issue #1

Cassie was used as bait to lure in a slasher, who captures her and tortures her by removing two of her toes in between flashbacks to Hack/Slash: Euthanized (the original one-shot). Vlad frees her and Cassie breaks down to tears at where their life has gotten her.

Shout at The Devil (#2-4)

Cassie is taken to "hell" by a cadre of rock singers who bargained success for the ritual periodic sacrifice of virgins, and once again is up to Vlad to save the situation, losing his virginity to be able to take Cassie back from "hell".

Love Stories (#5)

Emily Cristy aka Ms. America is brought back by a group of scientists who are attempting to understand how "Revenants" (i.e., Slashers) are made. Ms. America escapes, killing one of the scientists and stealing his skin.

Cassie and Vlad take a backseat in this issue and their story involves Vlad being ill and Cassie selling her mother's wedding ring so they have enough money to stay in a motel, which will be better for his health.

Also Chris and Lisa have a side-story involving a confrontation with Lisa's ex-boyfriend Kyle (last seen in Hack/Slash: Euthanized). Afterwards, Chris and Lisa begin a (mostly physical) relationship.

Double Date (#6)

A slightly tongue-in-cheek issue surrounding the return of Father Wrath, who turns out not to be the original Slasher seen in Hack/Slash: Girls Gone Dead but a teenager named Samuel Lawrence. Samuel is revealed to be Father Wrath's nephew before he is killed by Vlad.

Tub Club (#7-9)

Cassie and Vlad investigate a college in Massachusets where a series of corpses have been discovered, which have been reduced to a pile of flesh. Cassie and Vlad's relationship is somewhat rocky due to the amount of time Cassie has been spending on the phone with Georgia. After Vlad is attacked, Cassie begins questioning the local students and discovers that a number of them are lesbians who are involved in a cult surrounding the mythology of Elizabeth Bathory.

After accidentally kissing one of the students, Cassie interrogates her to find out more information about the cult. Before the student, Amber, can lead her to the cult's base of operations, Cassie encounters a government team who are also investigating the situation. One of the team admits that they worked for Cassie's father, Dr. Jack Hack and tells Cassie that he knows how to find him.

Cassie, Vlad and the government team are lead by Amber into the cult's underground base. They are attacked by Ms. America, who has become stronger by stealing the blood and skin of students in an attempt to regain her original beauty. After a long battle, Vlad, now more comfortable with his own deformities, impales Ms. America. Afterwards, Cassie and Vlad reconsile, though Cassie is uncertain of her feelings towards Georgia.

Little Children (#10)

Cassie and Vlad investigate a cabin in Montana in the hopes of finding information about Cassie's father: Dr. Jack Hack. They find a series of journals describing research performed on a group of feral children. The children were injected with a drug called "Rev-D", which theoretically will turn them into "Revenants" i.e., Slashers.

Just as Cassie and Vlad are preparing to leave with the journals, the cabin is fire-bombed by the children. Cassie and Vlad manage to escape from the burning cabin but Vlad refuses to hurt the children as it is against his moral code. Upon escaping, Cassie shoots the children, something that Vlad is not comfortable with. At the end, Cassie, in need of comfort, phones Georgia.

The Coldest Dish (#11)

Cassie and Vlad hunt down Nathan, a one-eyed vigilante, who Cassie believes is a Slasher. However, he is actually hunting down the men he holds responsible for killing his wife and mutilating him. Nathan gets his revenge but dies from a gunshot wound. Between Slasher activity, Cassie attempts to track down her father using the list she found in the Montana cabin, while at the same time still pondering her feelings for Georgia.

Meanwhile, "Pooch" (the demonic dog from Shout at The Devil) has come to Earth looking for Cassie. As Cassie is busy, she asks Chris to track him down. Using items of Cassie's as bait, Chris locates Pooch and the pair of them return to Chris and Lisa's.

BUMPed (#12-13)

The story begins with Cassie having another in a series of recurring nightmares about Milk & Cheese. Afterwards, Cassie and Vlad decide to investigate the "Hitchfield Massacre" that has been headlining the newspapers. They investigate the scene where several college girls disappeared and find torn clothing, claw marks and encounter a report named Phil O'Grady who is also investigating the murders. While Phil shows Cassie a recording of one of the killings a local policewoman is violently killed by a treehugger - presumably the same creature responsible for the killings. The creature moves on to attack the Phil's trailer and eventually Vlad kills the treehugger.

Following the trail of treehuggers, the group eventually discover a clearing in the forest containing a dilapidated house. Inside they discover a display of human flesh, a horde of treehuggers and eventually encounter Eddie, the creator and puppetmaster of the treehuggers. After a prolonged battle between Vlad and Eddie, Phil pushes Eddie down into the basement. Cassie and Vlad follow, only to discover that Eddie has murdered and mutilated Phil. They also find a store of "empty" treehuggers awaiting trapped souls, including one labelled "Kassy". Determined to put an end to the treehuggers, they decide to burn the house down and leave, but are aware that Eddie is still alive.

Meanwhile, we discover that an elderly woman named Muffy Joworski (who we were briefly introduced to in Hack/Slash #10) has been tracking Cassie's movements and believes that she is not only responsible for the killings but is in fact "the most prolific serial killer in the world".

At the same time, we see a pair of hired workmen digging up the coffin of Delilah Hack aka The Lunch Lady.

Collections

Hack/Slash has been collected in the following trade paperbacks:

Title Material collected ISBN Date Released
Volume 1: First Cut Hack/Slash: Euthanized
Hack/Slash: Girls Gone Dead
Hack/Slash: Comic Book Carnage
ISBN 1932796428
ISBN 1932796878
October 12, 2005
January 31, 2007
Volume 2: Death By Sequel Hack/Slash: The Land of Lost Toys #1-3
Hack/Slash: Trailers
Hack/Slash: Slice Hard Prequel
Hack/Slash: Slice Hard
ISBN 1932796754 April 11, 2007
Volume 3: Friday the 31st Hack/Slash Vs. Chucky
Hack/Slash #1-4
ISBN 193469200X October 15, 2007
Volume 4: Revenge of the Return Hack/Slash #5-10 ISBN 1934692182 June 29, 2008
Omnibus Hack/Slash: Euthanized
Hack/Slash: Girls Gone Dead
Hack/Slash: Comic Book Carnage
Hack/Slash: The Land of Lost Toys #1-3
Hack/Slash: Trailers
Hack/Slash: Slice Hard Prequel
Hack/Slash: Slice Hard
Hack/Slash Vs. Chucky
ISBN 1934692085 January 1, 2008

Other media

Stage play

The series has been turned into a stage play "Hack/Slash: Stage Fright", adapting "Euthanized" and "Girls Gone Dead". The play utilizes comic book panel simulation.

Live action film

Director Todd Lincoln, writer Martin Schenk, series creator Tim Seeley, and others were present at the 2006 San Diego Comic Convention discussing the Hack/Slash film, expected to be released by Rogue Pictures in 2008. As reported on ShockTillYouDrop.com, American actress Megan Fox is said to be "really interested" in the part of Cassie.

SuicideGirls

Cassie is now a SuicideGirl.

Notes

External links

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