Monday, September 7, 2015

CBR Hack/Slash/Nailbiter

If like me you like crossovers, here's a pretty fun and random one that kind of makes sense.

Friday the 13th series - Friday the 13th (2009)
Book One (Wildstorm) - Book TwoFriday the 13th (Avatar Press)
Jason vs Leatherface / Freddy vs Jason
Elm Street series - A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (WildStorm)A Nightmare on Elm Street (Avatar Press)
Halloween series - Halloween (2007) - HII (2009)
Halloween (Chaos! Comics)
One Good Scare - NightDance - 30 Years of TerrorThe First Death of Laurie Strode
Final Exam
Silent Night, Deadly Night series - Part 1 &2 - Silent Night (2012)
Pumpkinhead 1
Chucky series - Curse of Chucky / Chucky (Devil's Due Publishing)
Candyman series
 Re-Animator series
Hatchet 1Hatchet 2Hatchet 3
Hack/Slash: My First Maniac - Me Without You - Omnibus Vol. 1 - Friday the 31st
Series 1 (DDP)Hack/Slash Meets Zombies Vs Cheerleaders - Series 2 (Image)
Revival Vol. 1 - Vol. 2 - Vol. 3
Tucker & Dale / Cabin in the Woods
Darkman series
It's Alive series
Gremlins - Gremlins 2: The New BatchCritters seriesTremors series
The Faculty / James Gunn's Slither
"Nada" and other scifi horror tales
 Troll 2
The Thing from Another World"Who Goes There?" and other scifi classics
John Carpenter's The Thing
The Thing from Another World (Dark Horse Comics)Climate of Fear
John Carpenter's Prince of DarknessJohn Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness
 John Carpenter's Village of the Damned
Jacob's LadderSession 9John Carpenter's The WardEvent Horizon
DeepStar Six / Leviathan / Lords of the Deep / The Evil BelowThe Abyss
Deep Blue Sea

Comic title: Nailbiter/Hack/Slash and Hack/Slash/Nailbiter #1
Art by Mike Henderson & Emilio Laiso
Story by Joshua Williamson & Tim Seeley 

Published by Image Comics
From 2015
Lineup Hack/Slash series/Nailbiter series
Format: One shot issue of Nailbiter/Hack/Slash and Hack/Slash/Nailbiter #1. 

While we all thought Hack/Slash was all simply over, specially now with Tim Seeley having apparently left his slasher horror comic book series for a rural noir horror comic Revival, but it turns out there's still some life left in the ol' KISS IT baseball bat!

The main series was in fact resurrected in a 2014 mini-series sequel titled Hack/Slash Son of Samhain, with a change of hands now written by Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley. And there were also a couple of new one shots published around it.

Nailbiter/Hack/Slash or Hack/Slash/Nailbiter is yet another crossover between the Hack/Slash comic and another horror propriety.

This March 2015 crossover took Tim Seeley's against Nailbiter, an ongoing serial killer crime series by writer Joshua Williamson and artist Mike Henderson. Think of it as a darker Dexter, in comic book form. The story revolves around the little town of Buckaroo, Oregon, known as "The Birthplace of Serial Killers"...

Two fan-favorite long running horror comic series. Two crossover features, each handed by its own respective creative teams.

That's right, this comic feature two takes on this crossover. As I said above, there's a "Nailbiter/Hack/Slash" story, and a "Hack/Slash/Nailbiter" one.

It's a 2-sided comic! Taking it from one side or the other and you get a different comic!

Actually, you can't read this the way you want to. There's a chronological order, although it's not that apparent on first look.

The "Nailbiter/Hack/Slash" story comes first and it was done by Nailbiter creators Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson (if you look closely, you'll notice that's the side that has the issue number, credits and barcode).

The "Hack/Slash/Nailbiter" tale was written by Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley and his recent Hack/Slash collaborator Italian artist Emilio Laiso, with a cover by Tim Seeley.

Let's start with the Nailbiter/Hack/Slash crossover.

This first story (chronologically) tells the first encounter between these different protagonists. Some time before the titular "Nailbiter's" arrest in his ongoing series.

The pitch of the series, if you're unfamiliar with the title (like I was): The town is Buckaroo, Oregon. A place that was apparently used to breed psychopaths, it is now known as the home of 16 dangerous serial killers on the loose. Our anti-hero main character is this "Nailbiter" killer, Warren. Warren is after his "brothers", to put a stop to their killing spree and do some killin' while he's at it.

Currently he's after this "Mister Fatal" serial killer. Someone focused on getting after people having fun while obsessing after the "What ifs" in life. "What if you used a razor while brushing your teeth", this type of "What ifs", you see?

After hearing from these recent killings, slasher killer Cassie Hack and her partner-in-crime Vlad set their sight on Buckaroo and decide to do some recon at a carnival, the perfect hunting ground for our killer. They meet Warren (which first impression makes Cassie think this was our killer). They face our silly Harry Potter-lookalike killer. A confrontation ensues.

It's a pretty fun story. If you're more familiar with Nailbiter you will probably get a kick of Cassie's interaction with Warren. There's some fun dialogues.

The art is moody and dark and fitting for the comic.

"Hack/Slash/Nailbiter" takes us a few months later. The story takes place some time before Hack/Slash (series 1) #12, which appears to be around the time Warren was arrest in Nailbiter.

This second story sees Cassie and Vlad now return to Buckaraoo after a tip they got from Warren. Turns out Cassie's mom-turned-slasher was possibly from the same town!

But they find themselves in a trap, at the ends of Lucha Eliminador - not a slasher but a bona fide serial killer!

While the action was more interesting here, and the art a lot more detailed, it wasn't the best crossover ever. There were some funny jokes about hipsters in the beginning. As silly as Lucha Eliminador was, the exposition gave him some pretty interesting origin story.

And despite the title AND the cover, Warren was actually mostly absent from this feature. But his lack of presence gave some well-deserved screentime back to Vlad, who was barely in the other feature. This story was more about the town of Buckaroo itself, we didn't even see much of the other characters from the Nailbiter series.

It was actually pretty fun. The art was gorgeous here. It was more funny than any scary really. And I liked having Tim Seeley return to the characters he created!

All in all, both fun stories work great as a quick introduction to the other's universe, and we do get a pretty natural seamlessly crossing over into the other comic's world.

Overall, Hack/Slash/Nailbiter was a pretty decent crossover between two fan-favorite series, if somewhat lackluster.

You might find one tale weaker than the other coming from which one you're more familiar with. While the Nailbiter story didn't have enough Vlad in it for my taste it worked as a nice introduction to this cursed town. I liked the funny Harry Potter-lookalike killer obsessed with "What ifs?" scenarios.

The second story was actually more interesting but it didn't really bother having Cassie and Vlad interact much with the other's universe. Great artwork, expressions and attention details from Emilio Laiso though. In my eyes, the Hack/Slash/Nailbiter didn't fully embrace the spirit of the crossover to me. It has very little actual Nailbiter in there and could just as well have been a normal regular issue of Hack/Slash.

Give it a Read if you happen to be a fan of either. And who knows, you might find yourself interested enough in the style of either to check out the other series! Although you won't find much of the usual "fighting" aspect you would usually find in these type of crossovers. Notice the lack of "vs." in both titles! Compared to Cassie's previous crossovers which saw her face the Re-Animator, Chucky or also Evil Ernie, this was certainly not her best crossover comic.

I give it:

2 / 3 ManThings!

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