Hack/Slash is strangely inconsistent. Every time it seems mediocrity prevails, that Tim Seeley can’t really be bothered any more and it’s going down a third time, Seeley bounces back with a winner reminding that Hack/Slash can be enjoyable, fun and more than its influences. Welcome to Marry F*ck Kill.

For the past few volumes Vlad has been afflicted by problems, and they’ve escalated to the point where a proper medical check-up is required. The prognosis isn’t good, which means Cassie needs different help to deal with some incredibly powerful other dimensional escapees. It’s also the case that Hack/Slash seriously jumped the rails with Dead Celebrities. The tongue in cheek mood that made some earlier volumes stand out was absent, and without it only exploitation and melodrama remains.

However, Marry F*ck Kill is a step back in the right direction, combining two stories. ‘Interdimensional Women’s Prison Breakout’ concerns Bomb Queen, a maniac Cassie’s met once before, powerful enough to subjugate an entire city in her home dimension, and given a power-up in Cassie’s. Like so many villains faced by Cassie she’s very one-note, at least as developed by Tim Seeley as a more provocative and psychotic Harley Quinn, but within those narrow parameters she’s a viable threat, and dealing with her and her allies is a monster romp. However, Seeley might have been more creative concerning Samhain’s self-preservation techniques, which trivialise self harm issues.

The page or two devoted to Cat Curio for several volumes finally comes to fruition in ‘Monster Baiting’, which despite the crass title is about as fun as Hack/Slash has ever been. Finding a cure has become a priority, and there’s this island way in the middle of the ocean housing all kinds of giant creatures used in cheesy 1950s monster movies. Cue mayhem.

When Daniel Leister first drew Hack/Slash his art was promising, and it was nice to see an artist willing to stick with the series. However, he’s settled into an easy succession of large, often exploitative images that twist and distort bodies into silly sexualised positions. Some of that is a response to Seeley’s scripts, but a lot is down to Leister alone. Emilio Laiso’s more conventional and restrained guest contributions are a welcome change.

A form of cliffhanger leads into Dark Sides, or alternatively you can find this content split over Hack/Slash Omnibus Vol. 4 and 5.