Cassie:"A slasher. It's a type of undead, I guess... sort've like a vampire or a zombie. They're so full of anger that they don't wanna die. They hate love, youth, sex... things they miss, from life. All I know for sure is that they're mean and hard to kill."
Cassie Hack was an ordinary outcast high school nerdgirl until her mother, Delilah, was discovered to be a serial killer (dubbed "The Lunch Lady") who had been murdering the students who had been bullying her daughter. Even worse, after she killed herself she came back from the grave as a "slasher": an undead serial murderer powered by hate and rage and existing only to carry on killing. To make things even worse, Cassie ended up having to personally re-kill her by shooting her several times in the face.Now Cassie wanders the USA, channeling her guilt and pain into hunting down and destroying the other slashers who stalk the nation. And wearing a fine assortment of highlyrevealinggothwear.Her only friend is Vlad, a hideously deformed but kindlygiant whose odd upbringing by a reclusive butcher left him with No Social Skills but excellent meat cleaver moves. Together they kill zombie mass murderers, and the odd deserving living person. Aiding the two is the so-called Hack/Slash, Inc., founded by would-be slasher victims Doctor Lisa Elsten and Chris Krank, which provides info, and whatever resources they can spare.Hack/Slash is a comic series originally published by Devil's Due, and written by Tim Seeley. A series of one-shots and miniseries illustrated by various artists, published between 2004 and 2007, were followed by an ongoing series, illustrated at first by Emily Stone. In early 2010 it was announced that due to Devil's Due's financial difficulties the series would be transferring to Image Comics. During the rest of the year both publishers issued Hack/Slash material: the Devil's Due series continuing until issue #34 while Image produced a "Year One"-style mini-series titled My First Maniac and a few one-shots. The ongoing series restarted from #1 at Image in 2011, and concluded with #25 in 2013.The 2013 crossover book, Hack/Slash vs. the Army of Darkness, teams Cassie up with Ash Williams and is set shortly after the end of the Hack/Slash series. It can thus be seen as a sort of sequel.Not to be confused with Hack and Slash, although the plots can get that way, or with Hack and Slash.Has both a live-action film and a motion comic ("illustrated film") in Development Hell, with Brea Grant slated as the voice of Cassie in the latter. The wiki can be found here, and the unofficial official site can be found here.This series provides examples of:
Activist Fundamentalist Antics: Laura Lochs, especially in the Vs. Chucky story where she claims to want to "save" Cassie by murdering her friends in ways that reflect sins according to Laura's belief system, even though they don't actually apply to the people she intends to kill.
All There in the Manual: Rudolph, who gets offhandedly mentioned in Entry Wound, first appeared in Slashing Through the Snow, a short story included in the first trade paperback and omnibus.
Some slashers who put in fairly minor appearances (at first), like Dr. Gross and Acid Angel, only had their backstories revealed in the ombibus collections as well, via Hack/Slash Inc.'s Slasher Profiles.
Ambiguously Bi: It's questionable whether Emily Cristy was actually bisexual/gay or just preying on gay students.
And I Must Scream: One single-issue story had Cassie fighting a slasher who wasn't especially strong but had such a massive Healing Factor that she spent sixteen hours trying and failing to kill him. She ended up chaining him up and dropping him to the bottom of a lake, which even Cassie saw as Dirty Business to the point that she wouldn't let Vlad take part.
Bad Future: Shown in Murder Messiah; Cassie, Lisa and Kris are dead, and Vlad is held captive by the returned Akakios, who unleashed a virus that turned innumerable people into slashers, which conquered a significant chunk of America.
Bandage Babe: Laura Lochs in vs. Chucky has them all over, so we don't see her horribly burned body.
Blondes are Evil: Laura Lochs, Acid Angel, Ms. America, Sarah Bunn from My First Maniac, the briefly mentioned New Year's Eva... Tim Seeley does not appear to like blonde women very much. Averted in the later stages of the series with Cat Curio and Gertrude Hall.
Blood Bath: Emily Christy resorts to something akin to this in order to retain a human appearance in Tub Club, manipulating students into weird bloodletting pool orgies as a part of being in the titular secret society. Cassie is also depicted as partaking in one on a cover from the same Story Arc.
The Butcher: Subverted. In a couple early issues, Vlad mentions he was raised in a basement by "The Butcher," leading readers to believe he shared a similar history to Hack. Turns out "The Butcher" was just a kind, elderly Slavic immigrant who found him as a dumpster baby. Rather than report the abandoned, deformed child and let him be raised in an institution or hospital, he kept Vlad secret and raised him as best he could.
Vlad could be considered an example himself; his old nickname "the Meat Man" is certainly in a similar spirit to "the Butcher".
Car Fu: While effective against zombie animals in Euthanized, the resurrected Mosaic Man proves immune in Foes and Fortunes. In My first Maniac Cassie is on the receiving end, but obviously walks away from it.
Becomes a disadvantage in Shout at the Devil, due to Six Sixx and Acid Washed having a song that can brainwash virgins.
Celebrity Star: Comic Book Carnage features Steve Niles, Robert Kirkman, Messy Stench and Skottie Young (who reappears in vs. Chucky and Trailers) as characters and victims, plus various real-life Suicide Girls appear in the first annual (and are also killed).
Conservation of Ninjutsu: One Slasher will give Cassie and Vlad fits, but should they come back as part of an ensemble, they tend to go down easier than the first time.
Cool Big Sis: Lisa could be example of this, like in Double Feature.
Cool Car: The duo originally used a van, but after it was destroyed during the battle with the resurrected Julian the Mosaic Man, they replaced it with a hearse that Julian's grateful near-miss victim happened to have lying around.
The myriad ways Fantomah kills the supervillain wannabes in Super Sidekick Sleepover Slaughter. The last three were actually teleported into space.
The CSI Effect: The "influences criminal behavior" facet is mentioned by Cat Curio; TV shows about criminal science have made criminals smarter and less careless, which had the secondary effect of making many of her BMJ Crime Lab detective gadgets obsolete.
Death by Sex: Slashers are generally attracted to teenagers engaging in "deviant behavior" — there's easily a dozen ready examples of teens getting offed as they're about to have sex. Naturally, this is because of the trope's ubiquity in 80's slasher movies.
Deconstruction: Arguably one of Buffy. Both start with the premise "Final Girl of a horror film goes hunting the villains from other horror films," but unlike Buffy, who balances this with a normal life, Cassie is shown to be a deeply scarred person.
Several other slashers as well, such Laura Lochs (her boyfriend was stolen by a Spring Break slut, so she planned on committing a massacre) and the Sundermann brothers (killing the people responsible for making their favorite childhood hero Darker and Edgier).
Eye Patch Of Power: Six Sixx gets one after a Dread Drinker rips his eye out in Mind Killer.
Eye Scream: Hibachi Devil getting stabbed in the eye with a test tube in Slice Hard, and the Dread Drinkers taking over peoples' bodies by crawling into their eyes in Mind Killer (along with what happened to Six above).
Final Girl: The basic idea for the series came when Tim Seeley, stuck at home one Halloween due to sickness, watched a few horror film marathons and thought, "What if a final girl, after killing the slasher that was after her, went on to hunt down and kill other ones?"
Go for the Eye: Lynn, the fake Samhain empowered by the Godbox, has one weakness — apparently the Godbox doesn't think invulnerability should extend to the eyes. Cassie obviously exploits this weakness.
Gone Horribly Wrong: Emily Christy's attempts at researching slashers results in her becoming one, the scientist experimenting with infusing children with slasher genes in Little Children gets killed by them, Herbert West and Jack Hack's experiments result in the resurrection of Delilah Hack, who quickly devolves back into the Lunch Lady...
Guilt by Coincidence: Cassie first met Vlad during a spate of slasher murders in Chicago, and since Vlad was living in the shadows at the time, is big, burly and... not a looker, she mistook him for the killer and attacked him.
Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Sergeant Ryan Kramer from Land of Lost Toys was a slasher who became active every Memorial Day. Entry Wound involved every holiday-themed slasher waking up early, including a Sergeant Ryan Kramer, Jr.
I Am A Humanitarian: The Beane family say they need to eat human flesh to keep up their strength. It's unknown whether or not regular meat can do the trick ( seeing as Vlad seems to do just fine) or if this is just something that stuck with them due to Sawney Beane.
I Ate What?: Delilah didn't just kill the kids who bullied Cassie, she butchered them and made them into cafeteria food, which was fed to the rest of the unknowing students.
I'm a Humanitarian: The first asylum inmate Evil Ernie kills to "impress" Cassie says he was institutionalized because he ate people, claiming doing so let him "see God".
In the Blood: Early issues suggest that becoming a slasher can happen to anyone who is Axe Crazy enough while alive, but it later turns out that slasherness is hereditary in anybody descended from the original members of the Black Lamps, thanks to the weird effects of the Black Ambrosia drug they abused. (Although since that was 2500 years in the past, the genetic taint has spread quite widely.)
Ironic Hell: Subverted in the Chucky crossover with Laura Loch's Hell House, where the assigned punishments were completely random. Played straight in the Shout at the Devil arc, when Six Sixx is sentenced to perform in a demonic dive for the rest of eternity.
Muggles Do It Better: Turns out that Kat's modern scientific chemistry can beat Akakios's mystical alchemy.
Mundanger: The first ever villain we see Cassie and Vlad take down was the coach of a cheerleading camp who had been murdering campers. He appeared completely normal... aside from him wearing a catcher's mask while killing, for some reason. The second Father Wrath also turned out to be a completely human copycat.
Neck Snap: The Mosaic Man does Loch's friend in this way.
Never Sleep Again: Villain Ashley Guthrie initially had the ability to kill people in their dreams.
No Bisexuals: Averted. Hack/Slash actually has a small gay fan following due to Cassie briefly pursuing a relationship with a stripper named Margaret Crump. It caused them both a bit of soul-searching, but what's broken it off for the time being is Cassie's inability to deal with the notion that the slashers she hunts might show up and kill Margaret. Cassie would later have a deeply bizarre relationship with Samhain.
"Cassie Hack is the lone survivor of an attack by a slasher called the Lunch Lady... a slasher that happened to be her mother! Now, she travels the world with her monstrous partner and friend Vlad, hunting down and destroying slashers wherever they find them!"
Mary Shelley Lovecraft, not only being a shout out unto herself, mentions that Cassie is a compelling character, though not as loved as the Summers girl
An earlier reference to Buffy can be found in the Shout-Out-filled Comic Book Carnage. When Cassie explains who she is, someone tells her that if she "wants to play Buffy" the roleplaying room is upstairs.
[sigh] Though your tale is more complex than some, you still exist in a simple world of revenge, titillation and death. Allow me to try again, in language more befitting your author. Hi, I'm Mary. I'm Frankenstein, Cthulhu and Godzilla all rolled into one. I'm going to fuck up your world, bitch, and then fictional characters are gonna hop out of books and take over.
Wild Child: Feral children were used for "Rev-D" experiments in Little Children; it causes them to regress to an extremely feral state, eventually killing their surrogate father and forming an effective wolfpack.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Pretty much all slashers, due to their brains being screwed up. Samhain appears to be an exception, though only due to conditioning, and Ms. America had moments of lucidity, as she wasn't a "pure" slasher.
X Meets Y: At least one ad described the series as Buffy, if it was made by Wes Craven and Rob Zombie.