Monday, April 28, 2008

More Awkward - Hack/Slash 2

This started off as a comment reply to Kali921 and then became a review and some disbelieving 'I still like it!?.

Cause I do.

So I took it all the way.

Hot damn it feels like a ridiculous guilty pleasure. It makes me think of Ikki Tousen. I unashamedly adore every crotch shot, and ripped shirt, and fanservice double entendre of the Ikki Tousen anime.

Hack/Slash has panty shots and girls making out but it also has a Slasher Mythology. It strings together Michael Meyers and Chucky and Freddy and all those others into a LORE, with RULES and possibilities for original characters.

There's a tagline somewhere that it's what Buffy would have been if Robert Englund and Wes Craven had helped create it. And I don't find that tagline to be a joke.

The whole bloody hulking, big brute black male protector should also get on my nerves. A lot. But then they went and made the main female protagonist develop a bonded in blood solid friendship with a WoC. And they contrasted that with the deep friendship she has with said protector. And it made me believe that black folk in this universe are just lucky not to be around the craziness for the most part.

It made me believe not in a 'colour-blind' heroine. But in one who sees bad guys and innocents and that's it.

The art varies in one shot to one shot / arc to arc and honestly some of it I didn't enjoy. But when I thought about it, sometimes the art was a very subtle expression of the world view of the antagonist.

And getting back to the plot, it's like Wes Craven's Mind + Joss Wheadon Action & Characterization + X Files Mystery + Epic Saga Telling with chocolate sprinkles of violence and gore. At least to me.

For years I couldn't even look at a poster for Chucky, the damn thing disturbed me so much. And last night, in the middle of the night, I read Chucky vs Hack and I laughed and I felt involved in the plot and it felt right and fitting to me that he should be part of the universe.

I don't think the series is for everyone. I don't even understand why it's not freaking me out. I have no clue why it is that it doesn't disturb me, whereas as replied in a comment last night, Marvel Zombies definitely does. I can't even look at the damn cover. And I have no interest in reading any zombie comics.

I think this is appealing to me on an urban fantasy + urban legends level. It's appealing to the lover of myths and mythic heroes in me. It's taking all those tropes I've read about for slasher movies; that were apparently mocked in the Scream movies - which I couldn't watch and didn't get the point of - and making it relevant to me in a format I do get; heroic epic adventure in a modern landscape.

And it's combining all of that with some serious satire and commentary on popular culture, gender issues history, and issues of survivorship.

I think I also relate to the main character because her mother did horrendous things in the name of love and she spends her life wondering about what she, herself is capable of; what lines might she one day cross or is she daily crossing and re-drawing.

Morality and philosophy in a slasher comic; at least to my eyes. No wonder I'm impressed/surprised.

I can't remember where I saw it, either Box-in-the-Box or Lurkerwithout... Ok just looked it up. It was Box-in-the-Box who discussed/noted that lately quite a few narratives have:

...performed a reductive surgery on the idea of what it means to be a "hero," taking the concept from "someone who accomplishes or excels" to "someone who endures or survives."

It's a very short post, (from last year) but I recommend you read it.

Anyway, Cassie Hack does both. First she survived, then she got pro-active about it. Now she combines it to make sure others survive.

Maybe it HAS just been a long time since I saw a girl kick a monster upside the head or blow up a big ugly with a rocket launcher. But if I'm not the only one who has, I think Hack/Slash might satisfy.

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