Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #4 of 4

For the past four episodes we’ve witnessed what was once the mysterious origin of Cassie Hack. And when all is said and done, I would have liked it to remain mysterious. When “Hack Slash” made its transformation from Devil’s Due title to Image Comics title, there of course had to be changes made. And this series is basically starting over. Sure it’s telling stories not even the old fans have ever read, but it’s basically taking all of the past storylines and completely ignoring and forgetting them.

For now, I hope. The demon dog, the supporting characters, Cassie’s connection to past slashers, the revelation she is likely a lesbian, it’s all gone. Again I’m not sure what creator Tim Seely is planning for future issues, but the entire saga is restarting and I’m just so anxious for the narrative to get back to where it used to be.

I loved the classic slasher villains, and the horror movie romps, and I’m not getting any of that anymore. “My First Maniac” comes to a merciful close in issue four when Cassie is forced to go up against Grinface. Now aware that her new friend is a psychopathic monster using a slasher for a tool in destroying her enemies, Cassie spends all of the issue coming of age and realizing her journey as a slasher hunter. We learn in this issue that people who were once psychopathic unforgiving monsters that die in extreme pain or hate come back as slashers. Don’t hold me to that declaration since it’s never made clear what makes a slasher and why they can come back. There’s also not a real revelation as to what brings them back, and how they’re capable of coming back.

Sarah is using Grinface to do her bidding, but she’s not entirely using any form of weaponry to kill people, so what would be the exception for her to come back as a slasher? I think issue four could have taken the time to explore what form of evil brings vengeful spirits back from the grave to become a slasher, and what the guidelines are. Because as of now it’s still immensely fuzzy and unclear. Did a person have to be a serial killer in their former live to re-emerge as a slasher? Why exactly? Is this a part of some lineage or bloodline curse? Where did it all begin? Is there someone out there in the darkness with the power of everlasting slasher reproduction? Who discovered slashers, anyway?

I mean hey, if you’re going to start over, why not just give us a better idea of what a slasher is and where they stem from. As he should be, Grinface is a creepy character born from the evil of the video game age, but his origin is still so ridiculous and lazy. An evil video game made him in to an evil video gaming slasher! Booga! But in the middle of absurdity, the art work from Daniel Leister is fantastic and gives “Hack Slash” that B horror movie atmosphere that it needs. By the end of this four issue mini-introduction, we meet Vlad and once again, we’re heading in to an origin story that was fun when we knew very little of it. Because the beauty is the friendship, not in the making of the friendship.