Comics, Reviews

Hack/Slash: Back to School #2 Review: A Game Changer

Step into the frantic world of Hack/Slash: Back to School, Zoe Thorogood’s refreshing and bloody take on the cult-classic series.

HackSlash 2 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 2:24 AM

Hack/Slash: Back to School #2

Review
Rating
10
Excellent
HackSlash 2 Full Cover

Writer: Zoe Thorogood

Artist: Zoe Thorogood

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: November 21, 2023

Page Count: 32

Format: Single-issue

Zoe Thorogood manages to top the thrilling debut issue of Hack/Slash with a new adventure that’s bloody, chaotic, and artistically mesmerizing.

Zoe Thorogood is arguably one of today’s fastest-rising comic book creators. Her distinct style is a breath of fresh air that feels rare in comics today. In my last review of Hack/Slash, I gushed about how she delivered such a fresh spin on the beloved character. Even after such a stellar debut issue, I never would have expected the follow-up to be even better. It shows that with Zoe behind the wheel, you can expect insane levels of creativity to gush out of every page. So, with all of that said, let’s get to my review of issue #2!

Hack Slash Back to School 2 Reviews - girl with batImage: Image Comics

Overview

It’s Cassie Hack’s first day in school, and things are off to a frantic start. After a quick orientation about the week’s best kills, Cassie, Sam, Baby Boo, and Mabel get assigned their first mission together. The gang investigates a scene where a man is cut perfectly in half and left hanging from the ceiling. With little traces of the slasher who did it around, the gang is stumped by who could have committed such a messed up kill. It’s when they peer into the victim’s computer that they find the trail they’re looking for. To their surprise, the rabbit hole they crawl into is much stranger than expected.

Review

The funny thing about this review is that I could not shake away my thoughts about what to write while I was in the middle of writing another review. That’s when I realized that Zoe Thorogood is really cooking up something special with Hack/Slash. Simply put, the latest issue is a fun ride from start to finish, and it’s the perfect showcase of why Thorogood is such a talented creator. Amidst the blood, guts, and gore is a story with lots of heart. This version of Cassie Hack oozes an effortless charm that’s refreshing for the beloved character. Seeing the character dynamics play out amongst the gang is fun with each new chaotic scene, as the girls all bring a distinct personality to the party of slasher hunters. Baby Boo, especially, who’s just a blood-soaked cinnamon roll and a half. While the comic’s pacing does noticeably feel like it’s moving at a break-neck speed, the frantic energy strangely fits the absurd and terrifying world Thorogood created.

Hack Slash Back to School 2 Reviews - girls talkingImage: Image Comics

As much as I’ve come to expect Thorogood to deliver killer art in her comics, the art throughout this issue particularly is absolutely bonkers. Having recently read “It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth,” it’s great to see Thorogood grab into her bag of artistic playfulness for this wild ride of an issue. Because most of the story takes place inside the world of a quirky indie video game, it sets the stage for creativity to run wild. Moments can go from the gang walking down a pixelated forest to grotesque scenes of disfigured monsters getting their heads chopped off. But as frantic as that sounds, the mixture of art styles all come together to tell one hell of an engaging story. Also, having the cover of this issue be a Lolipop Chainsaw homage (despite having little connection to the actual story) makes it an instant winner in my book.

If there’s one “downside” to pick out about the comic, it’s how this miniseries series is currently planned to only be four parts long. After such a strong pair of issues, it pains me to think we’re already halfway through the series when there’s so much potential for even more insane and bloody adventures. I can’t help but want to see more of this bright and morbid version of Cassie Hack in the future. But I digress. This series is already up there among my favorite comics of the year, and I’m excited for whatever comes next.

Hack Slash Back to School 2 Reviews - checkered wallsImage: Image Comics

Final Thoughts

With this incredible new issue, Zoe Thorogood more than solidifies her spot as the perfect choice to revive the cult-classic series. Her distinct style and endless creativity bring a fresh flavor of campiness and wit that fits right into the crazy world of Hack//Slash. For a comic that’s so twisted and chaotic, it’s also a ton of fun from start to finish.

Why You Should Read Hack/Slash: Back to School

  • Zoe Thorogood flexes her mesmerizing skills at mixing art styles to tell an insanely fun story.
  • Cassie’s party of quirky slasher hunters brings a unique charm to the series.
  • The constant barrage of horror, action, and comedy makes it feel like you can never expect what’s coming next.
TAGGED: Image Comics
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