Hack/ Slash # 27
“Foes and Fortunes PT 2”
Story: Tim Seeley; Art: Bryan Baugh; Colors: Mark Englert; Letters: Crank!: Production: Sam Wells; Edits: James Lowder; Published by DDP
I came in late on this one due to lacking the first installment, but essentially Vlad’s ally, a woman named Liberty “Libby” Lochs, is attempting to cast a spell to stop the resurrected creature Julian. Libby becomes possessed by her sister Laura, a dead slasher that Cassie apparently took out. Laura, through Libby, tells the story of Laura’s resentment and hatred of her sister. Vlad had to stop the girl from from hurting herself, or, rather, stop Laura from hurting her sister’s body.
Julian was raised through necromancy and serves death. He intends to free any spirits imprisoned on this plane through the “luck magic” of blessed statues and so is obsessed with killing anyone in possession of such a statue. After quite a struggle, Vlad refuses to kill Libby’s body; he believes Libby is good at heart and must be saved. Meanwhile, Cassie is in pursuit of the disfigured animated corpse of Julian, who attacks Manuel Navarro-Montes after a lavish family party. Manuel possesses the statue of Santa Muerte, with which he manages to hurt Julian.
Manuel gives Cassie the statue, and she confronts Julian, on a power trip and declaring himself more powerful than ever and “The Liberator of Souls”, even though he looks progressively worse for the wear. Cassie diverts Julian from the van, where Libby has the statues he craves. Vlad takes on Julian, who calls on death to finish Vlad, who retorts with a memorable line: “Fortunately for us all… Death is dumb”. Vlad is tossed from the van, and Julian, Libby, the statues, and an explosive device roar towards their final reckoning.
The ending of the book is rather poignant. Vlad is a compassionate character and the perfect foil for the jaded Cassie. The art this issue, by Bryan Baugh, is wildly cartoonish, very lively and kinetic, and Mark Englert’s high contrast palette evokes the perfect moods. A new regular artist, Daniel Leister, is announced towards the end of the book, and is slated to begin with issue # 30.