The Crow: Hack/Slash: She Wears Shadows is published by IDW Publishing. Tim Seeley provided the script and layouts, Jim Terry did the art and the lettering is done by Neil Uyetake. The opening of The Crow: Hack/Slash: She Wears Shadows finds Cassie Hack and Vlad in San Francisco investigating some ritualistic murders that lead them to believe it involves a slasher. They soon discover that the slasher is in fact a person named Angeles Cero, who is out for vengeance as the current Crow. However, that’s not the only person running around as the Crow.
A man named Marcus Grieves, who had fulfilled his own mission of vengeance before as the Crow, is sent back to stop Angeles Cero. Apparently, after getting her vengeance on the police cadets directly responsible for her own and her sister’s death, Angeles decided to kill a lot more people who were involved in covering up the murder. It is the Crow’s (Marus Grieves) mission and Cassie’s drive to kill slashers that brings them together to stop the rogue Crow, Angeles Cero.
Crossovers like this one are always fun because you can’t wait to see how characters are going to interact with each other. And this crossover is no exception. I’m glad Seeley didn’t write a crossover story, where the two heroes of the book spend twenty-plus pages fighting each other before realizing they are on the same side. It only takes a somewhat civil conversation in a couple of pages for Cassie and Marcus to agree to work together. However, I like that Seeley shows that Cassie is struggling with the fact that by her own definition, her new ally is still a slasher. And Cassie normally kills slashers. Seeley shows that the trust is not fully there and that fundamentally, Cassie is an enemy of people like Marcus.
Seeley has also written a topical story. For example, you have the themes of a toxic relationship, gun and police violence. This is portrayed through Angeles Cero’s (the rogue Crow) backstory, who as mentioned earlier was killed along with her sister by an obsessive, jealous ex-boyfriend that was a police cadet. The police cadet got away with the murder of both, essentially because he was a cop in training. Not only that, but other cadets and city officials helped him cover up the murder. Aside from this, when Marcus shares his own background to Cassie he reveals that he and his partner were murdered in a hate crime by neo-nazis. As a fan of comic books, you don’t often see these topics touched upon, but I’m glad that Seeley managed to incorporate them into this crossover. He manages to make both Marcus and the villain, Angeles, tragic figures through these subjects.
Jim Terry’s art looks grimy which works well for the horror theme and the goth characters he’s drawing for The Crow: Hack/Slash: She Wears Shadows. Each character is clearly defined and recognizable in a book with characters that have very distinct looks like the Crow, Cassie Hack, and Vlad. There are two Crows but even though one is a man and the other is woman, Angeles’s makeup has a reasoning behind it that is explained in the story if you pay close attention. Terry does a good job of portraying this difference in their makeup styles, and even though one is good and the other bad, both still look creepy and threatening.
I particularly liked a couple of pages where Terry shows motion from one panel to the next. On the opening page of the story, the first panel is black, then in the second panel the reader is looking into the barrel of a gun, and panel three is colored with white at the center and yellow in the rest of the space along with the word “blam” to convey the gun going off. He also does a good job drawing perspective in a fight scene that takes place on top of a church on pages 13 to 20. Panel 3 on page 16 is especially good because the point of view of the reader is from the ground looking upward at Cassie hanging off the church tower, and panel four zooms in from the same angle as Angeles is about to stomp on Cassie’s hand to make her fall off.
I only have a couple of criticisms of the book, and that is that on page 8 the mausoleum scene threw me off a bit, because I didn’t realize that it was the place where Marcus Grieves’ body had been resting. Maybe it’s because there are two Crows and I wasn’t totally sure which Crow, Cassie, and Vlad were facing at the church. But the art should be a give away if you pay close attention. And my only other criticism is that I wanted to see more of the how and why of the cover-up for the police cadets that murdered Angeles and her sister. In a crossover like this, you don’t get a lot of time to develop some of those plot points, but that’s a minor criticism of an otherwise solid story.
Overall this is a fun crossover with great character development for Cassie, Marcus, and Angeles. It’s was a good idea to pair these characters together, because of the horror elements, but also because a spooky killer that comes back from the dead to slaughter its tormentors, is by all and intents and purposes a “slasher” in Cassie Hack’s world. And Cassie kills undead serial killers for a living. Like much of Tim Seeley’s work in his Hack/Slash universe, it is an entertaining action-horror comic book.
The Crow: Hack/Slash: She Wears Shadows is available now wherever comics are sold and online through our Comixology affiliate link.