No, I’m not talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though some would say that Tim Seeley’s loudmouth, goth chick turned monster hunter, is cut from the same cloth as our favorite former denizen of Sunnydale. As a matter of fact, Devil’s Due Publishing markets her comic with such hyperbolic copy as: “Hack/Slash is what Buffy might have been if it had been created by Wes Craven and Rob Zombie instead of Joss Whedon.”
As the lone survivor of an attack by a slasher called the lunch lady (a slasher who turned out to be her mother) Cassandra “Cassie” Hack now travels the world hunting down slashers and destroying monsters wherever she happens to find them.
I think that is where the similarities end, and while there are certain elements that are very reminiscent of our beloved vampire slayer, I think Seeley and artist Emily Stone’s creation have carved out enough unique elements to distinguish her from other major heroines.
One major difference is while Buffy tends to dress more conservatively, Cassie’s depiction as a goth emphasizes her roots in that lifestyle. This should not be mistaken by feminists and others as another example of a male dominated industry’s exploitation of women with titilating images, as I believe that Cassie is too strong a character to even allow herself to be exploited and Seely’s narratives make it clear that her sexuality empowers her rather than enslaves her. I attribute attempts to link her with the Suicide girls or any alternative porn movements as more of a marketing scheme than anything else.
Another major difference is that while Buffy’s vampires and monsters were often used as metaphor for the real angst and horrors of growing up as a teen in American society and to explore the complex themes by subverting the genre’s conventions, Hack Slash is a world inhabitted by the slashers of cult movies made famous by Friday the 13th and others. In fact, the creators are smart enough to be incorporating cult elements into the comic, Cassie having previously met up with the likes of Chucky and in an upcoming arc she will deal with Dr. Herber West from the Re-Animator cult films.
If you never heard of Cassandra Hack until today, the movie watching public soon will as rumors that 22 year old American actress Megan Fox is said to be “really interested” in the part of Cassie in an upcoming release from Rogue Pictures. At any rate, you can read my review of the latest issue from this excellent ongoing series here.