"Hack / Slash vs. Halloween Man" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Monsterverse
Written by Drew Edwards
Illustrated by David Baldeon
2014, 45 Pages
Comic released on March 26th, 2014
Solar City's protector is not going to win any beauty pageants, but he can certainly kick some ass. Halloween Man is ready to fight any takers with his trusty magic shovel, even a fierce, tough-as-nails hunter like Cassie Hack and her partner Vlad from Hack / Slash. We've got a good ol' fashioned crossover on our hands in Hack / Slash vs. Halloween Man, re-published digitally by Monsterverse.
I will admit that this was my first real exposure to Halloween Man. I was not familiar with the character before reading the comic, but from what I can see, he's a pretty interesting hero. Half of his face is scarred like a zombie; his left hand is only bone with no flesh or muscle; and he's got a jack-‘o-lantern sweater as his “costume.” I don't know how he got this way or why, but if you put a picture like that in front of me, I'm going to check it out.
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As with most team-ups, the two characters start as mistaken enemies and then realize that they're on the same side. Cassie is tricked by the Brainchild into popping over to an alternate earth that is allegedly being terrorized by Halloween Man. She lands in Solar City to find him battling a zombie version of the Avengers and jumps in swinging. After the obligatory misunderstanding, they join forces and take the fight to the real bad guys.
While the comic follows the familiar team-up pattern, it's filled with tongue-in-cheek jokes about the industry. Books published by the “Big Two” are the butt of most of the gags, such as the aforementioned zombie Avengers called the Revengers – which includes a jive talking version of Luke Cage – to a female parody of Hellboy named Heck Gal that shows up looking for help. Halloween Man doesn't take himself too seriously. He sees this whole super hero thing as fun, so he always has a smile on his face. I think this is partially because even he can't believe just how ridiculous his life has become. That's not to say that all of the jokes are spot on. At one point, Halloween Man actually says “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt!”, which went out of style around the same time as slap bracelets and pogs.
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David Baldeon shows his range in the artwork for Hack / Slash vs. Halloween Man as there's a whole lot of stuff going on. We've got zombies, ghosts, zombie ghosts, Lovecraftian monsters, robot TV newsmen, and a giant brain. That's not even counting the main characters. Speaking of, Baldeon got the likeness down for Cassie, capturing the tough but sexy look of the character as defined by creator Tim Seeley.
Hack / Slash vs. Halloween Man is a fun read. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more had I been a little more familiar with Halloween Man. There are a few parts that were a little confusing for me, but I'm sure they tie in to the overall mythos of the character. If this one-shot is any indication of what I can expect from the series, I'm going to be on the lookout for more issues.
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