Review: ‘Hack/Slash’ #22

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Readers should be prepared as Hack/Slash #22 triggers the inevitable countdown of the series’ last issues. At their weakest, the slasher slayers, Vlad and Cassie Hack, are about to face their deadliest enemy. The issue is riddled with questions about whether these two will ultimately make it to the end.

WRITTEN BY: Tim Seeley
ART BY: Elena Casagrande
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: January 9th, 2013

The slashers the duo once defeated are now coming back to life with a vengeance. As if they are being led by a psychotic mastermind, the slashers are targeting the loved ones of the slayers and anyone they previously rescued. The future doesn’t look too bright for Cassie and Vlad as they are destined to lose their greatest battle ever.

I really enjoyed how Tim Seeley steadily builds the somber atmosphere. After this heavy loss, Vlad and Cassie do not want to fight anymore. The opposition appears to have the upper-hand because this latest defeat has left everyone feeling beaten and exhausted. To heighten the suspense, Seeley hints that someone isn’t going to make it out to the last issue. The major question is whether or not this partnership will actually survive at the final moment.

Though there is very little action, the issue is really heavy on plot. Seeley focuses on the emotional toll that has fallen upon the inseparable slayers. Though readers have to wait to see Cassie in action, the payoff is definitely a major surprise during the last pages. Longtime fans finally discover what put Cat Curio, the semi-private detective, in a deep coma. The issue ends with a shocker, promising the missing action will be found in the next chapter.

Artist Elena Casagrande centers the emotional weight of the themes in close-ups, as the characters deal with their grief. In Casagrande’s character design, Vlad looks more like a muscleman, which is different than the hulkish beast that Vlad is usually portrayed as. There is a tremendous amount of detail in the clothing, especially when the slashers make their appearance known.

What really stood out for me is Casagrande’s visual interpretation of Cassie, who looks more like a supermodel. With her chic hairstyle, Cassie has a keen fashion sense as she wears her purple jacket. Though Vlad looks like a freak, he has the mind of a naive and innocent child. Casagrande focuses on Vlad’s child-like expressions as he tries to understand about death and the loss of his friends.

Ending on a major cliff-hanger, “Hack/Slash” #22 is an enjoyable read that works well for longtime fans and newcomers. The “Final” story arc promises that the “Hack/Slash” series will end at a grand-scale conclusion. As a fan of the “Hack/Slash” series, I really want to know how it will end for Cassie and Vlad.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis