Review - The Crow Hack/Slash #1 (@IDWPublishing)

"You made me. Look."

The Crow is a character with a certain mystique about him--one that's been further emboldened by the tragedy on the film set. That mystique relies on the notion that there's this being watching over the innocent and seeking to make them safe. And that mystique gets a slight introduction in The Crow Hack/Slash #1 from IDW Publishing. The issue is written by Tim Seeley, illustrated by Jim Terry and lettered by Neil Uyetake.

The crow flies. A soul is brought back. But something is wrong. Angeles Cero won't stop killing on her quest for revenge, and the bodies are piling up. Now, slasher hunter Cassie Hack and her monstrous partner Vlad are on the trail of the Crow Killer, assuming her to be one of the masked murderers they've hunted for years. But they aren't the only force trying to make the universe right again.

Seeley has always made Cassie Hack and Vlad something of a comedic duo of sorts in the face of overt violence and that dynamic actually works well as a foil for the Crow. The first issue plays out like another installment in the aforementioned duo's investigations, leading them to find a new foe who has a bit of immortality about her. Seeley's dialogue plays out well in this regard, relying on the banter between Cassie and Vlad to carry the story forward until the reader is introduced to The Crow. Seeley certainly isn't in a rush to get to the actual crossover part; rather, he takes his time and builds up to it which makes the appearance a bit more satisfying. Despite that, the issue does read a lot more like another Hack/Slash issue with just The Crow as a guest appearance of sorts, but it's likely Seeley will expand his role as the series progresses.

Terry's artwork is very effective at capturing the moodiness of both characters. Relatively thin linework give the characters definition enough to stand out apart from both one another and the backgrounds, ensuring the reader has a good sense of who's doing what at all times. The Crow in particular has lost none of his trademark appearance, although Terry does infuse him with a bit of youth and vigor. Seeley's layouts are fairly open, in that there's plenty of space for the characters to breathe and nothing feels too cramped. The colors are largely on the darker side of things, which makes sense considering the tone of the characters and the fact that The Crow dresses in all black and inhabits the night.

The Crow Hack/Slash #1 is a pretty solid opening to an interesting crossover. Both the lead characters seem tailor-made for one another in terms of sharing a case together, so watching Cassie, Vlad and The Crow all work together should be entertaining at the least. Seeley's script is moderately paced yet well-conceived, affording the characters a violent reason to come together. Terry's artwork captures the spirit of the characters without sacrificing overall cohesiveness. The Crow Hack/Slash #1 is a crossover that is surprising it didn't happen sooner.

The Crow Hack/Slash #1 is available now.