Hack/Slash #15 Featuring Re-Animator Part 1 of 3

514192-0000As if “Hack/Slash” didn’t have enough potential in the horror genre to be fixed to any of the slasher characters, creator Tim Seely and Devil’s Due are finally teaming her up with the unexpected but surprisingly apt Herbert West, a character who seems perfectly at home in this series. Especially when he manages to re-animate Cassie Hack’s mom/slasher The Lunch Lady. Ooh, he’s a bastard is what he is. I’ve been anxious to read this team-up since it was announced a few months ago, and part one of this three parter is finally here in thirty one pages of horrific glory.

It won’t be a disappointment to fans of either of these characters as Seeley and his team takes this opportunity to halt Cassie’s desperate search for her long lost father by re-introducing the demons of her past that she still hasn’t come to terms with: The Lunch Lady. Meanwhile down in the nether realms, the Lords of Nef are pissed at the betrayal of their man pooch and are gathering to send another skilled assassin to kill Cassie. Things are heating up here, and it’s not a surprise that it took three writers to flesh out this three issue mini-series. Thankfully, Cassie is no longer Clint Eastwood spouting horrible one-liners and performing out of character tricks. She is once again that same girl I’ve come to be a fan of over the years since her introduction.

She’s vulnerable, sweet, and pretty bad ass when enticed by the forces of evil (or an all around asshole), and Herbert West is a match made in hell as the mad scientist with the god complex who refuses to relent in his re-animation experiments. But what are his reasons for reviving the Lunch Lady, aka Delilah Hack? One of the many fascinating and equally surprising aspects of issue 1 of 3 is that the writers take great pains in exploring who Cassie’s father actually is and what his connection to Herbert West’s experiment with the Lunch Lady is. We also get a very engrossing look at the revelation of why Cassie’s mom became bitter and evil, whether her transformation in to a slasher was impromptu, who she was in an earlier life, and ultimately why and how she came to know Cassie’s father.

The relationship between the two characters fleshed out here is rather excellent with the writers managing to actually turn Deliliah in to a sympathetic individual with much of her personality bearing incredible similarity to Cassie’s own. And then the inevitable question becomes: Does Cassie have the potential to be a slasher if pushed too far, herself? Herbert West is given his chance to shine as the dominating force of evil in this and future issues manipulating everyone and still acting like the petulant spineless jellyfish from the films. Emily Stone’s art this time around is definitely rough around the edges with line work that isn’t as up to par with the typical style and flair of the series, but it’s forgivable what with all the developments that will potentially lead to a wild confrontation with Herbert West who is still so intent on beating death that he’ll destroy anyone he can in the process. I look forward to part 2.