As I walked the aisles of my local shop this week, my eyes gleefully bouncing from cover to cover of all the new issues, I realized something: that just 1 of the titles on my pull and holds came out this week. Worse yet, no matter how hard I looked at each and every title, I couldn’t find anything of interest for you loyal readers. I was at a loss. I was down right downtrodden. But thankfully though that 1 title so happened to be Hack/Slash #29, and like an IV pumping coffee straight into the veins of Dave Attel, I was rejuvenated. Read on for the review.
“Hack/Slash” #29 marks the kickoff of the “Super Sidekick Sleepover Slaughter” story arc, aka the countdown to the arrival of new series artist Daniel Leister (“Wonderland”) in issue #30. This month Seeley ups the anti pretty hard, which is tough to do given the track record of the series. The story starts out with a nerdy high-schooler named Ronnie, the a-typical walked on comic book geek, calling in to Late Knight rambling on about real life super-heroes. The story progresses from here, introducing us to the first 2 generations of Nightmare & Sleepy, a supposedly real super duo back in the day.
If this all sounds a little like “Watchmen”, then you’re not the alone. In fact the entire rant that Ronnie goes off into is pretty much torn straight from the lore of an Alan Moore novel. And though it is an unoriginal, borrowed idea, it still poses an interesting dilema when both generations of the hero Nightmare wind up dead at the hands of The Jack O’Lantern. A serial killer ripped straight from the comics within a serial killer comic you say? A serial killer ripped straight from the comics within a serial killer comic is right.
Issue #29 is as good as ever, not missing a beat from the glory of the previous months issue. Seeley seemed to have hit his stride some time ago, and he doesn’t look to be slowing down. Each page is leaves you wanting the next, never seeming to give you enough before you’re scouring the internet looking for the preview for next months issue. If ever there were a writer perfect for his role in a series it is Seeley. To imagine ‘Hack/Slash’ without his penmanship attached is nearly unfathomable at this point.
The artwork this month is still quite impressive as we wave farewell to the myriad of artists that have been lending their lead to the series the past few issues in preparation for Leister. Chris Burnham, Ross Campbell, and Jason Millet all bring their own touches to the issue this month, giving Ronnie’s old-school comic books a vintage feel that almost feels genuinely authentic.
That being said ‘Hack/Slash’ continues to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack as far as slasher comics go. Next month threatens to be a huge step for the series as it fully brings together its new creative team for the first time, but for a series that has done so much right it is hard to imagine them doing any wrong.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Skulls