Friday, October 25, 2013

Bookmonkey vs Hack/Slash day Twenty Five

Man’s Best Friend…er...Low-Beast

The addition and expansion of characters in superhero comics is a standard phenomenon for any long running series, both Superman and Batman began to expand their respective families within a decade of their creation, and this wasn’t just limited to siblings, cousins and alternate versions of themselves; with“…the introduction of recurrent pets in 1955 – Ace the Bathound and the super-dog Krypto, each with his own “costume” to visually identify his ownership by a superhero” (Best, 2005, 90) animal sidekicks became a standard of the superhero genre, and in the case of Hack/Slash the “super-pet” has a very interesting twist to it.

Meet Pooch.

First introduced in issue three of the first ongoing series, Pooch is a hell-hound of sorts. After Cassie makes her escape from his world he is sent to Earth to track down and kill her. Pooch may be one of the most disturbing creatures I’ve ever come across in comics, he appears as a sort of skinless dog with the (unfortunate) ability to speak English, so instead of barking he literally says the word “Bark”, also he speaks of himself in the third person, often calling himself “Most Humble and Pooch”. Although he is initially sent to earth to find the “Most Hated Cassandra Hack” he quickly gives up his quest and moves in with two of Cassie’s allies, Chris Krank and Lisa Elsten, both survivors of earlier issues of Hack/Slash and the two principal members of Hack/Slash Inc., Cassie and Vlad’s support network throughout the series.

Although he begins his part in the series as a villain, Pooch is played as comic relief throughout the series, asking for Cassie and Vlad’s (and the audiences) sympathy throughout while acting as hideously as possible.

Image of Pooch from Issue 3: Shout at the Devil part 2 (of 3)

Best, M. (2005) “Domesticity, Homosociality, and Male Power in superhero comics of the 1950s” in Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies. 6(1), 80-99.

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