Femme Fatales “Hack/Slash:” Cassie Hack (NYCC 2015 Exclusive Edition) by Diamond Select

You’ve probably already surmised something is up by the title of today’s feature, so let me just come out and declare that DC Fridays are going on hiatus. I’ve got some great DC related stuff pre-ordered and coming soon, but with DC Icons almost dead, and DC Multiverse too depressing for me to keep reviewing, my DC merch is pretty much relegated to statues these days. It breaks my heart because DC is absolutely killing it with their comics lately and I’m reading most of their current books. Sooo, I’m opening up Fridays as an “Anything Goes” slot once again, but as new DC stuff comes in, it’ll get shunted to the front of the line every Friday. Promise!

With that all having been said, I’m keeping things comic-themed today and checking out Diamond Select’s Exclusive Edition of the Femme Fatales Cassie Hack statue from Image Comics’ Hack/Slash! Phew, that was a mouthful! And yes, if by some chance this looks familiar, it may be because I reviewed the standard version a couple years back. If you’re down for some great horror-comedy-action funnybooks, you’d be well-served to check out Hack/Slash by Tim Seeley, which should still be available in TPB format. There’s hardly any merchandising surrounding this series, so it should come as no surprise that I was willing to double dip on the Exclusive.

The packaging is more or less identical, even to the point where the photos on the back of the box are of the retail release and not this Exclusive. You do get a sticker on the front window declaring this an “Action Figure Xpress Exclusive”. There’s also a piece of foil tape on the top denoting it is a NYCC Exclusive and that mine is number 669 of 1,000. Dammit… soooo close to 666! Anyway, it looks like I’m going in from the bottom to get Cassie out! There isn’t a lot of set up involved here. After freeing her from betwixt two clear plastic trays one finds that she comes permanently attached to her base, but you do have to put her accessories in her hands.

Here she is, and ain’t she to die for? In my review of the original retail release, I bemoaned the fact that this Exclusive was the more colorful edition and that I preferred it to the two. That opinion still holds strong today. Indeed, if I had known how easy and affordable this statue would be to eventually get, I would have waited, but more on that later. There is no new sculpting here, so we’re dealing with just a straight repaint, and even those changed areas are somewhat limited. The blue and gray gloves have been changed to red and gray, her gray skirt is now black with red squares, and her socks are now black with red decorations.

So, the repaint is not entirely extensive, but I think it does a lot to elevate the original release. I’m not saying they should have put Cassie in some inappropriately bright colors, but the gray used for the skirt just seemed drab and boring for a statue. Overall, the quality of the paint application is pretty good here, especially for a budget line like this one.

The portrait still looks great, and features Cassie’s hair cascading down and covering half of her face. She’s very pretty and I love the delicate curve of her nose into her more prominent upper lip. The paint for her eyes and lips is applied sharply, and yes… she’s wearing gray lipstick!

Her accessories include Vlad’s mask and her nail-studded baseball bat. It’s a shame they couldn’t do Vlad as a companion piece, but that really isn’t within the scope of this line, at least not back then. Nonetheless, as I’m sure I said when reviewing the retail release, it was crucial they make his presence felt somewhere and including the mask was a pretty good way to do it. I was hoping they would have added some writing to the bat for the Exclusive, like “Kiss It,” but both the bat and the mask are exactly the same as the original retail release.

Also identical is the hatchet-inspired stand and I really do love this thing. It’s fun, creative, and perfectly fits the theme.

Generally speaking, these roughly 9-inch scale PVC statues retail for just under $45, which is not too shabby for statue collectors on a budget. There have been some ups and downs in terms of overall quality, but I’ve been a fan and supporter of DST’s Femme Fatales long before it grew into the DC and Marvel Gallery lines and Cassie here is a good example why. Now here’s the kicker: The limited run Exclusive is actually selling for about half the price of the regular retail release right now on Amazon, which is where I picked up mine. And so for a cool $15, I was able to get the preferred version that I thought would be difficult and expensive to find. Who knew? I’m sure as hell not going to complain about owning both versions. Especially since no other companies seem interested in doing anything with the license.

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Femme Fatales “Hack/Slash:” Cassie Hack by Diamond Select

I can’t remember what got me started reading Tim Seeley’s wonderful Hack/Slash comic. Chances are I just picked up an issue at some point while browsing a comic shop and got hooked. It’s precisely that kind of book where you can open any issue to any page and instantly want to know what the hell is going on. If you like offbeat horror comedy I recommend a look and a lot of it is still available in convenient TPB or Omnibus editions. Sadly, there hasn’t been a lot of Hack/Slash merch out there, which always struck me as weird since there are all sorts of obscure indie comics with action figures or statues.

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Ah, but it’s Diamond Select to the rescue via their Femme Fatales line. I’ve reviewed some of these before and it’s a weird little line of economy priced collectible statues that pulls its content from original designs to comic book properties and even something as big as Star Trek. Diamond seems intent on getting more mileage out of this line as they not only produced this Hack/Slash piece, but they just launched a wide reaching sub-line of DC statues based on the art of Bruce Timm, which I’ll start looking at next week.

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Getting back on topic, the statue comes in a window box with a deco more or less in line with the last three Femme Fatales statues I bought. The windows let a lot of light in and give you a great look at the statue, which will come in handy if you happen to be buying it off the shelf and want to check the quality of the paintwork. Everything is collector friendly and while I don’t think the deco here is anything to write home about, I’ve still kept all my Femme Fatales boxes just in case I ever need to pack them away.

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And here she is out of the box, all set up, and looking mighty fine. Cassie comes already attached to her base, all you have to do is attach her accessories. The bat slips into her left hand and Vlad’s mask hooks on the fingers of her right hand. This PCV sculpt is by Sam Greenwell, who has done some work for DC Collectibles and I think it really does a beautiful job capturing the character and straddling the line between simple comic style with out sacrificing detail.

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Cassie’s had some variations to her look throughout her adventures, but I would consider the outfit here pretty iconic for her. She sports a see-through one-piece with skimpy black bikini top and a low-slung skirt, complete with her FaQ belt. She has long striped fingerless gloves, a pair of high top black boots and athletic socks. There are some really nice examples of sculpted detail, like the laces on the boots, the knitting in the socks, and even the stripes on her gloves are part of the sculpt. The paintwork on the outfit is excellent for a piece in this price range. There’s a little slop between her boots and socks, but other then that there’s nothing else to pick at. I dare say that I’ve seen more flubs on far more expensive statues. I will say that I would have preferred they went with her plaid skirt, but apparently DST is saving that for an exclusive release.

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The portrait is beautiful and an interesting sculpt, with her sculpted hair eclipsing the right side of her face. If you look at Cassie dead on she has a determined expression, but if you get a little lower and look up at her, she look a tad more vulnerable. Either way she’s very pretty and here too the paintwork is excellent.

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The accessories are both welcome additions. The bat has a wood grain texture, sculpted tape on the grip, and several nails sticking out of the tip. There’s also a gruesome crimson wash at the end. It just wouldn’t be Cassie without a weapon. I would have liked it to have “Kiss It” painted on, but they may be saving that for the exclusive too. And then you have Vlad’s mask, which was, in my mind, a necessary addition to have the big guy’s presence felt even though this is a solo piece. The rather clever base is designed to look like the head of an axe, complete with silver paint on the edge and a hole where the axe handle would pass through. As much as I love the design here, it is a tad wobbly, which is really my only complaint about this entire piece.

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At approximately 9-inches tall, she fits in really well when displayed next to my Ariel Darkchylde. The statues in Diamond’s Femme Fatales line retail at around $40 and I have to say you’re getting a really nicely crafted piece for your money here. It’s true that most of this line doesn’t tend to hold their value very well. Indeed, this is the first FF piece that I paid full retail on and that’s just because I wanted to support the fact that someone was delivering on the Hack/Slash merch and I didn’t want to take any chances on missing out on Cassie. For any fan of the comic, this is a must-own piece, and I’m not just saying that because there’s nothing else out there.