Hack/ Slash # 30
“Super Sidekick Sleepover Slaughter! Pt 1”
Story: Tim Seeley; Art: Daniel Leister; Colors: Mark Englert; Letters: Crank!: Production: Sam Wells; Edits: James Lowder; Published by DDP
The premise of this issue is that superheroes – and their sidekicks – are coming back into style. But the newly-minted “legacy” versions of the sidekicks are being slaughtered. Kids are using a device called the Godbox to gain superpowers, which still aren’t enough to stop the “sidekick-slasher” (my term). Young Ronnie Carpenter – now known as Nightmare – is the first to go in a blood drenched struggle where his novice fighting and defense render his powers useless.
Alan Night, a radio DJ and former super, thinks slasher-hunter Samhain is off the wagon and again killing innocents. Night’s fears are well-founded when Ronnie’s best friend comes calling and meets a similar demise as that of Nightmare – at the hands of Samhain. Cassie and Vlad receive help and information from Madame Anjelica, a prostitute and former sidekick to Alan Night when he was a superhero. She was known then as “Sister Sacrilege”. Anjelica tells Cassie and Vlad the tale of the Godbox – beginning with how once no superheroes or supervillains had superpowers, except Fantomah.
Fantomah’s appearance continues the hallowed Hack/ Slash tradition of quality crossovers, such as past encounters with Chucky from Child’s Play and Herbert West from Re-Animator. Fantomah was a real Golden Age heroine and the second superheroine ever, after the Woman in Red (both predate Wonder Woman). Fantomah was, and is in this crossover, incredibly powerful. She possessed flight, super-strength, the ability to turn men into beasts – you name it.
A brilliant group of criminal scientists isolated Fantomah’s one weakness and used it to take her down and to obtain her godlike powers. This weakness was a rare plant used and cultivated by ongoing Hack/ Slash villains The Black Lamp Society, who, Cassie speculates, may be controlling Samhain through the Godbox. To get to the root of the matter, Anjelica disguises Cassie as the new Sister Sacrilege and Vlad gets the thankless job as her sidekick, “Altar Boy”. Cassie is determined to take the battle to the “Arctic Lair”, presumably the HQ of the Black Lamps.
New artist Daniel Leister is a great fit for this story; hopefully he’ll handle the various horrors thrown at Cassie and Vlad with the skill in which he handles the superhero satire. The colors are more vibrant, and, well, colorful this issue, as befits a story featuring supers. The sole extra in this issue is a page of cheesecake shots of herself as Cassie sent in by a reader riding the rampant wave of cosplay.