I've never been a regular reader of HACK/SLASH. I've read it on occasion and despite my interest in the horror genre, it wasn't enough to capture my full attention. This issue takes the series in a slightly different direction. With a focus on Cat Curio, we see the young amateur detective jump into the action to try to catch a deadly killer.
I know the back story for Cassie and Vlad but wasn't aware of what Cat's story was. Thankfully I could simply check out her character page here and find out she wanted to be a detective as a young girl and after an attack, spent fourteen years in a coma, which she recently awoke from.
James Lowder crafts the tale showing the tangled web Cat gets pulled into when a mysterious stranger arrives claiming to be offering a warning for Cat. Seeing Cat's adventures with Pooch, a hound from Hell that can talk, really makes for a different sort of comic.
Cat's enthusiasm for detective and crime fighting work is almost infectious, in a good way. The concept and design of the Catalog Killer is interesting and the MO of the killer's tactics was clever.
When it's time for Cassie and Vlad to show up, they're conveniently close to where the action will end up. Of course it helps to have them appear in the comic but makes you wonder what if they weren't so close?
Maybe I just don't know enough about Cassie Hack but the idea that she's just hanging out in a car eating fast food with Vlad while wearing a bikini top and super short skirt is perplexing. I get that this is her look but I don't need female characters to be half dressed in order to capture my interest in a story. I have had this discussion with others and it conveys a message that this comic may have less substance and more TnA. That's really unfortunate because this was a fun story and I could see reading this series on a regular basis if I didn't feel it was focusing on Cassie's body rather than the stories.
I'm not too crazy about Pooch either. He'd look great in a live-action format but the way he's drawn and colored just makes him look more comical rather than foreboding.
This isn't your typical HACK/SLASH comic. In a slight departure, we get an entertaining story focusing on Cat Curio and her desire to dive into the world of detective work. Seeing her operate and how she gets by was a refreshing change of pace. As a newer reader, I was able to figure out what her deal was after visiting her wiki page here on Comic Vine. My biggest problem with the issue and series is the way Cassie Hack dresses. Hunting deadly killers while wearing a bikini top and short skirt doesn't seem too practical. It might be her trademark look but gives me the impression that there's only two reasons to read the comic. The character of Cat is a good mix in the story with Cassie and Vlad. The Catalog Killer had a good design and the story has a nice conclusion. I'd like to see more stories like this but someone should get Cassie a jacket before she catches a cold.
I'm curious what the hardcore HACK/SLASH fans think of this issue.