Killing the Cult of Personality

Review by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Hack/Slash issue #8
Written by Tim Seeley, Art by Daniel Leister, Colors by Mark Englert, Letters by Crank!, Covers by Daniel Leister, Rachelle Rosenberg & Erik Jones and Published by Image Comics.

In regards to the death of pop stars, Cassie Hack may be living out the dark fantasies of those reading Hack/Slash as the story’s pop stars like Kendal or Art Projekt could easily be substituted for real life pop stars like Beiber or Gaga.  Either way, that part of you that hates pop stars will love this story.  Issue #8 sees the close to the “Fame Monster” story arc that ended in bloodshed.  It’s Hack/Slash, how else was it going to end?

In the last issue, Cassie still lay paralyzed on the bed from Kendal entering her mind.  Somewhere deep down inside Cassie, in the subconscious part of her personality, she secretly worships fame.  This dark secret of celebrity worship was enough for Kendal to exploit and render Cassie paralyzed but unfortunately for Kendal, this “door” into Cassie’s mind swings both ways.  Cassie uses this as a way into Kendal’s mind to stop the invasion of Cthulu-like monsters.  Both Cassie and Vlad make short work of Kendal but it’s the fans who turn on the pop star too, and it ends how the story arc started (see issue 6).

Seeley hits on several interesting concepts in this issue all while flipping the bird to the religion of celebrities.  His depiction of pop star fandom comes across as sheep being lead to the slaughter with their mindless dialogue.  Kendal’s death or rather the manner in which he is killed is one of these concepts.  His murder is truly befitting for a celebrity and how Kendal is murdered is an urban legend that many rock stars have been accused of doing.  Again, Seeley humanizes Cassie by exposing her normal desires like celebrity worship.

Leister hands in another fantastic performance.  His renderings of the celebrity’s soulless quest to be worshiped by fans in an almost trance-like appearance hits the mark.  Leister is just as at home drawing slashers as he is drawing the twisted versions of pop culture.  Artist Erik Jones turns in Cover B and a great rendition of Cassie as a pop star.

Fame Monster helped to show new readers that this book isn’t just about hockey masks and butcher knives, it’s also about the monster that hides in plain sight.

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