Cassandra Hack grew up in a small town in western Wisconsin. Her father left soon after she was born, and Cassie was left in the care of her overbearing, eccentric mother. Cassie was generally considered a freak by her classmates and grew to be a bitter young woman. Her mother, the lunch lady at Cassie's high school, watched unhappily as her daughter was chastised and tormented. Shortly thereafter, students began to disappear.
The disappearances corresponded to the serving of a strange "mystery meat" in the high school cafeteria. It didn't take long before the clues pointed to Mrs.Hack. Hack had been murdering students she felt had treated her daughter unfairly, and serving them with a side of fries and chocolate milk. When confronted, Hack plunged her head into a pot of boiling gravy, leaving her teenage daughter an orphan.
Cassandra was placed in a foster home and attended a new school, but news of her connection to the notorious Lunch Lady made her even more unpopular than before. Soon, girls began to disappear, signaling the horrific return of The Lunch Lady who had been reborn as a vengeful slasher from beyond the grave. Feeling responsible for the deaths, Cassie hunted down and destroyed the Lunch Lady.
The character quickly achieved cult status after her first appearance. However, while popularity grew with some fans, it was not enough to maintain financial success for the character. Nonetheless, various companies have regarded Cassie as one of value and have attempted to highlight her in her own series since her first introduction. Initially, she was published under Devil’s Due and stayed there for a few years. She passed briefly to Zenescope before Image acquired her rights. She has achieved the most success in this iteration with a publishing company that does not depend primarily on her for its success.
Major Story Arcs
Driven by guilt and lacking a connection to anyone or any place, Cassie turned her back on a "normal" life, and became a hunter of killers. It was on one of these hunts that she met the man known as Vlad, a misshapen, gentle creature whom she mistook for a slasher. Vlad became Cassie's traveling companion, offering his fierce, monstrous power to her cause. Together they hunt down and destroy slashers, wherever they may be, whatever form they may take.
The life of Cassie has been of roller-coaster of tragedy and violence. In the first case Cassie and Vlad worked, they hunted an undead slasher and his horrifying army of zombie pets who terrorized the residents of a little village in Indiana. But the shocking truth was this slasher was in fact an innocent victim of murder who tried to protect his friend Lisa Elsten even after death. This was a lesson for both Cassie and Vlad that sometimes human beings are even worse monsters than the monsters they hunt.
Later, they traveled to Florida to hunt down a killer known as Father Wrath. The overzealous slasher had been killing spring break attendants whom he saw as sinners and fornicators. But the mastermind behind this slasher turned out to be a pretty student, vindictively punishing carefree party-goers after her own boyfriend left her for wet t-shirt contestant. The ensuing battle proved difficult, but what was worse, the truth that even for a self-proclaimed outcast like Cassie, some kind of inherent need to be accepted and liked by her peers had become troublesomely apparent.
Their next case took them to Pennsylvania, where comic book artists; Messy Stench, Robert Kirkman, Steve Niles, and Skottie Young found themselves the targets of a disturbed fanboy and his "brother." The fan and his underdeveloped twin brother resented the artists changing the origin of their childhood superhero. Even though Cassie and Vlad managed to save Skottie Young, Cassie grew wary of her own fate. This recent turn of events proved to her how easy it was for a human being to lose his sanity and become a slasher. And living the life she had, Cassie worried for her fate both before and after death. For Young however, the incident was an inspiration. Cassie became the basis of his superhero reboot, Chippy: The Slasher Slayer.
Some time after that, Cassie and Vlad lived their most bizarre adventure as they traveled to New Jersey. There they found Evil Ernie murdering women and bringing them back to life to satisfy his own desire to be loved. This need to love and be loved was the only reason to live for Ernie. When he confronted the duo, Ernie looked inside Cassie and discovered the same need to be accepted and loved within her. Ernie became enamored with Cassie, despite the apprehension of both Vlad and Smiley. Things became complicated however, when Cassie was accidentally shot and died in Vlad's arms. Vlad was full of rage, but Ernie gave his own life in order to bring her back.
Back to the land of the living, Cassie and Vlad traveled to Ohio, where they faced one of their most dangerous adversaries. Ashley Guthrie, a vicious little version of Freddy Krueger, a dream killer. This greedy maniac was killing children in their sleep using “evil toys” just because he was not willing to share the toys and even murdered his own brother and father. Ashley also murdered a friend of Chris Krank, and this forced Cassie to use a more direct approach to hunt the slasher. In a risky plan, he hunted Ashley into her own dreams. Ashley thought that in this terrain he had the upper hand, but he didn't count that in Cassie's nightmares something more dangerous than him was hanging around: Cassie's mom, The Lunch Lady. She saw how Ashley was assaulting her little girl and immediately attacked Ashley, mutilating and eviscerating him.
Once the horror was over, Vlad and Cassie followed the trails of another slasher in Minnesota. But this slasher named Acid Angel was not a monster, or an undead sociopath, she was a killer that exhaled acid when she was turned on, and aware of this, Cassie set up a plan to capture her. But she didn't realize that the one who was in the trap was her and Vlad. They were captured by a mysterious organization named Ceutotech Inc., led by former Miss America, Emily Cristy. She explained to Cassie that they were a pharmaceutical company interested in the cellular regeneration process and the slashers were a miraculous source to stop the skin degenerative process. They offered Cassie the chance to work for them and capture the slashers, and as a reward, they promised to cure Vlad's face. But things got out of control. Ashley Guthrie was once again alive and now in the form of a teddy bear. He entered into Ceutotech's facility and released all the slashers that were held captives. They began a massacre and in the mayhem, Ms. Cristy was fatally wounded. With all the odds against them, the exhausted Vlad and Cassie tried to escape the facility, but the slashers were everywhere. Cristy, seeing her death near, decided to use the regeneration formula, turning into another slasher. But before losing her mind, she used her last moment of sanity to help Cassie and Vlad. In the precise moment they escaped from the compound, it exploded and destroyed everything that once was a prestigious pharmaceutical company.
Meanwhile, in New Orleans an old foe reappeared. A crippled and disfigured Laura Lochs planned to get revenge on Cassie and Vlad. And thanks to a magic amulet, she managed to switch bodies with Vlad. But the biggest surprise was the help Cassie had to accept from Chucky, an even more dangerous enemy, to hunt down Laura. She had not only Vlad's body with her, but also several hostages who were saved by Cassie, like Skottie, Chris, and Lisa. Laura had the upper hand, but Cassie, Vlad, and Chucky were more than ready to confront her. And in an epic battle, Cassie confronted Laura, who was inside Vlad's body.
Despite being a skillful fighter, Cassie was no match against Vlad's raw power. But in the last minute, Chucky managed to surprise Laura and take the amulet and switch Laura's and Vlad's bodies again. Full of rage, Laura, now again in her own body, attacked Chucky but he easily defeated her and threw her in an empty room where the zombies Laura created ironically devoured her. But that was not the end, as the score between Chucky and Cassie had to be settled. And after a vicious battle, only Cassie emerged victorious. But despite the battles she won that day, she felt that she couldn't have the luxury to have friends as the life she was living could put them in constant danger. However, Lisa convinced Cassie that no one can guarantee others life forever and with that, forging a real friendship between the group.
Powers and Abilities
- Skilled Fighter: When she was 9 years old, she had karate lessons so she would protect herself when her mother wasn't around (however the lessons stopped suddenly when her mother got her active in church). However, through years of experience fighting and killing Slashers and other kinds of monsters, she came to master hand-to-hand CQC (close-quarters-combat) at least enough for her to fight the myriad of monsters she must deal as well as human attackers, and, on more than one occasion, she has been able to out-maneuver and defeat other experienced combatants.
- Marksmanship: Her weapon of choice is usually something light and swingable, namely her trademarked baseball bat with nails on the head. Whereas Cassie prefers not to use firearms in combats, she is a proficient markswoman that can fire a handgun with relative accuracy. She has also used other weapons such as chainsaws and sometimes even dynamite. Cassie is also capable of improvising weaponry and has been known to use all kinds of inanimate objects as makeshift weapons.
For most of her life, Cassie has been an ordinary human girl, however she feared that she might have a genetic predisposition to become a Slasher just like her mother. This became true when Vlad died at Samhain's hands. All her rage and frustration turned her into a slasher even though she was technically alive.
While a Slasher she possessed several super-human attributes such as:
- Superhuman Strength: Strong enough to throw an metal crucifix through Samhain's body and the three he was leaning onto with ease.
- Regenerative Healing Factor. Manifested early before her transformation. She could heal her wounds at superhuman speed in seconds or minutes. The full extent of this power was never truly shown.
- Berserker Rage: In this state she lashes out with the intensity and aggression of an enraged animal, the typical behavior of a slasher.
Her success at image has been such that she has even been deemed successful enough for several inter-company crossovers.
- Hackoween: In this crossover she meets Halloween Man.
- The Living Corpse Annual
- A Slice of Hell: She and Vlad meet and team-up with Mercy Sparx.
- Monter's Ball
- Cheerleaders vs. Zombies. She travel to Seattle and attend the same school as the cheerleaders. The same kind of irreverent episode occurs and he breaks the fourth wall.
- Hack/Slash-Army of Darkness: After the events in vol 2 she meets Ash William in search for the pages of the Necronomicon she tried to purchase online to bring Vlad back to life.
Although Cassie is one of the more scantily-clad female superheroes, her costume is actually designed to be an homage to the horror (and horror spoof) genre which she is based in, as opposed to all-out exploitation.
Cassie Hack ranked 37th in Comics Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics list. Cassie, who has only been in comics since 2004, is one of the most recently-created characters to be honored on a list that was dominated mostly by Golden and Silver Age characters.