Review: Hack/Slash vs Vampirella #1 (of 5)

Just in time for Halloween, Dynamite pulls out their latest team up book, with two different sets of monster hunters hitting the stores.

It seems that there is a killer on the streets, who after choosing a suitor, engages in the oldest trade in the world, before physically showing literally, what a break up can feel like, by ripping a lovers heart out.  Therefore, its a pretty good thing for the rest of the populace that Cassie Hack and her enigmatic partner Vlad turn up for a break.  But, people vacation in different ways and its not long before Cassie comes across another stalker in the night, that has an interest in blood.  The title of the book lets you know what or who you are going to get for your buck, so it should come as no surprise when Vampi finally makes her appearance.  From there, its team-up mis-understanding leading to team-up time proper as the trio aim to be the baddest of the nightwalkers.

Shawn Aldridge is the writer charged with taking Tim Seeley’s creation, Cassie, through the challenges in this book and he does so with a level of aplomb.  Cassie is sarky and quick with a quip and her partner seems immune to her wit.  Where Aldridge wins me over is that the Vampi in this book is one of the more consistent versions and not the one that is in her current book.  This would figure as team up books like generally don’t stick to any level of continuity; take a look at DC’s Metal as an example.  Aldridge’s script works well; with characters meeting for the first time there is always a certain awkwardness, maybe even a cheesy line or two.  Yet the setup that Aldridge uses allows for the confrontation between the two heroines to have resonance within the threat posed by the big bad.

Rapha Lobosco has been doing well, having worked on Dynamite’s James Bond books.  Whilst Bond may need a certain style, here Lobosco is given more of a free rein delivering a cartoony style for the first part of the book.  Things get a little more statuesque when Vampi shows up.  Despite using the classic Vampi look for the cover, allowing that version to sell the book; the interior Vampi is a more conservative affair, yet still alluring.  I would be interested why Dynamite were happy to use the classic look on the cover, but not in the book itself.  Could it be a simple case of sex, or the illusion of sex, sells.  Lobosco’s panels work well, driving the story forward.  Backgrounds are either detailed or blank but either way, colorist Chris O’Halloran uses a patchwork of colors that paint a vivid picture of a party town that seems to insinuate everyone who features in this book.

This book, to me, is a no brainier in that I am sure that there is a cross section of fans to which both characters appeal.  It is good to see that Dynamite, via Aldridge and Lobosco, respect their audience by producing high quality book.

Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars


Written by; Shawn Aldridge
Art by; Rapha Lobosco
Colors by; Chris O’Halloran
Published by; Dynamite Entertainment


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