Get ready for thrilling action and extreme gore. The undead are causing some serious problems, and Cassie Hack is ready to massacre the zombies. HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION vol. 1, written by Tini Howard and illustrated by Celor, continues the story of the world’s best monster hunter. I think we’re ready to see some more death and destruction from Cassie.

What Happened?

HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION vol. 1 shows Cassie Hack in a sort of retirement. Readers see her trying to get away from the monster hunting business. As expected, it doesn’t go quite how she wants it to. Undead prison inmates show up at her remote home in the mountains. Naturally, she kills them. All the while, she tells herself that this isn’t her job. Then, not long after the attack, Cassie receives a call from a friend of her mother’s. Cassie is invited to be a counselor at a camp for kids who experienced trauma and are trying to overcome it. Cassie eventually accepts the offer.

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At the camp, it turns out that the kids are undergoing training to kill the undead. The job seems pretty straight forward. However, these zombies, or slashers, have been approaching the kids’ camp as well. Luckily, they were fought off, for now. Cassie then realizes why she had been asked to come there: to kill slashers. She gets to work right away. Everything appears as it usually does: slasher shows up, Cassie kills it. Unfortunately, this job she has taken reveals some harsh truths, difficult situations, and a lot of gory battles. This proves more than just another day in the life of Cassie Hack.


Telling a Scary Story

The violence of the comic can be seen on almost every other page. However, Tini Howard does not allow this crowd-pleasing gore to get in the way of creating a story about love, loss, frustration, and so much more. A big part of the emotional aspect of the comic comes from the characterization of Cassie Hack as failing to move on.

Yet the gore of HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION vol. 1 definitely has importance. The comic does focus on the struggle against the slashers as a major factor of the story’s premise, after all. However, the story has emotional importance as well. In the very first issue, we see Cassie describing how she wants to leave her old life behind. Her new life consists of playing video games, which she hates, for a living, and eating cereal in her underwear. She limits interaction so that she mostly interacts with her cat rather than any people. Readers can tell this existence is sad for her. The fact that Cassie is doing something she hates just to be somewhat normal may make readers sad. This sadness may encourage readers to continue the story, both because they want to see Cassie overcome what she’s going through and because they might pity her.

Image Courtesy of Image Comics

This stagnated existence also characterizes Cassie Hack. She repeatedly says that killing slashers is not her job anymore. She also starts yelling at the slashers, expressing her frustration with the situation. This anger towards her life shows readers both her attempts to grow and how she is stuck in the past. She wants to move forward, but her past keeps coming after her. Rather than running away to move on with her life, she fights off the intrusions, while still claiming no responsibility to do so. Therefore, she fails to move forward.

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Artistic Gore in HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION vol. 1

In HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION vol. 1, artist Celor presents a lot of detail, which makes the comic more visually engaging. For example, the folds seen in Cassie’s sweatshirt make the page more interesting than if the sweatshirt had been drawn in less detail. In particular, the lines showing the folds of the hoodie give the piece of clothing depth. Instead of a flat article simply placed on top of the picture, Celor’s details make the sweatshirt seem like it has been worn by the character. In turn, this more accurate appearance of a worn hoodie helps reader engagement because it makes the presentation of the comic as a whole believable, whereas detaching from a comic becomes easy when the appearance seems forced and unbelievable.

Image Courtesy of Image Comics

K. Michael Russell’s coloring in HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION vol. 1 shows a lot of bright red blood, and I mean a lot. However, this bloody quality, while needed in order to follow the story, isn’t the only thing that catches readers’ attention. The color palette of HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION vol. 1 uses a lot of vibrant colors when it comes to the fight scenes and slightly more muted colors for the calmer points in the story. The contrast between the two draws the reader in and keeps them there. Readers may become engaged in a comic through the vibrant colors, but such coloring can be overstimulating if kept up for too long. That’s where the muted colors come in. They let the reader relax and enjoy the story before more action and stimulation comes in.

Killing It to the End

I’ve definitely enjoyed this comic. It was entertaining, visually stimulating, and it had a level of depth to it. In a previous series of HACK/SLASH, I saw Cassie Hack fighting slashers, because no one else would. In this series, I see Cassie having given up at first. She had become so tired of her life that she refused to do the only thing she knew how to do. I’m glad to see that she did, eventually, go back to fighting monsters, because she is a strong character. Even though we see her at a breaking point, she still proves strong enough to handle whatever the world throws at her.

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HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION vol. 1 is definitely well crafted. The plot has depth and violence in places — for example, when Cassie is fighting zombies while saying it’s not her job. Readers see Cassie portrayed as a somewhat broken figure. In her tired and angry demeanor, you can see great characterization. Meanwhile, the detailed illustrations and coloring engage the reader without the latter overstimulating them. In the end, HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION vol. 1 is a strong comic worth your time.

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