Reviews, Comics

Hack/Slash: Back to School #3 Review: Girls Night Out

See what’s going on in the issue of Zoe Thorogood’s Hack/Slash: Back to School, one of Image Comics’ craziest horror miniseries.

HackSlash Back to School 3 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesMar 1, 2024, 9:30 AM

Hack/Slash: Back to School #3

Review
Rating
10
Excellent
HackSlash Back to School 3 Full Cover

Writer: Zoe Thorogood

Artist: Zoe Thorogood

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: February 28, 2024

Page Count: 32

Format: Single-issue

Zoe Thorogood’s Hack/Slash returns with a bloody adventure that explores new nightmares and the personal struggles of the comic’s loveable cast.

You know a new comic book is special when you read its first issue and all you want after is to have more of it. That was me after reading Zoe Thorogood’s new Hack/Slash reboot series from last year. Within two stellar issues, Thorogood worked her magic on the cult classic series and created a story that’s wonderfully fresh and hauntingly unique. So, of course, it was a bit of a bummer when issue #3 got hit with a few delays along the way. But even then, the series remained one of my most highly anticipated titles. Now that issue #3 has finally hit shelves, was it worth the wait? Read on for my review of Hack/Slash: Back to School #3 and find out!

Hack_Slash_ Back to School 3 - boxing woman and writingsImage: Image Comics

Overview

Cassie, Boo, and Sam set out to investigate a mysterious string of disappearances happening in a dingy strip club. The only clue they have to work with about the situation is the pile of dismembered limbs tucked away at the back of the club. It doesn’t take long for their night out to get crazy as they face off against a nightmarish slasher. It falls on Cassie and her trusty bat to snuff the slasher out. But does she have what it takes to cut it as a full-fledged slasher hunter?

Review

This latest issue of Hack/Slash feels the closest to the original series by Tim Seeley in the best ways possible. As much as I adored issue #2’s mix of art styles and video-game aesthetics (shout out to the Juliet Starling homage for the cover), the vibrant and somewhat whacky adventure was a slight departure from the original series’ campy roots. Issue #3, on the other hand, is a whirlwind of body horror, grotesque monsters, and half-naked ladies. It hits that distinct flavor of the exploitation genre that made Seeley’s creation such a cult classic. But at the same time, it’s still distinctly a comic created by Zoe Thorogood. Everything from the playful banter between characters to the nightmarish monster designs makes the world of the comic feel so unique and naturally fun to read through. This issue is packed with full-page spreads that look like they jumped straight out of your worst nightmare. Thorogood is a sicko who can illustrate some of the most messed visuals imaginable, and I adore her for it.

Hack_Slash_ Back to School 3 - school girl chased by monsterImage: Image Comics

But the story in this issue is more than blood, guts, and strip clubs. What’s a Zoe Thorogood comic book without a little bit of tragedy and existentialism sprinkled into it? Not only does this latest issue have the gals fight through their most gruesome mission yet, but it also has a great deal of character writing amidst all the chaos. While Cassie herself goes through an identity crisis, as most young adults do, the story gives us a great look into why Boo is the most messed up of them all despite being a walking cinnamon bun. Then Sam, after revealing herself as a bit of a weeb (as if the katana wasn’t a hint enough), dishes out plenty of hilarious quips as she takes the lead on the mission. Cassie may be the star of this bloody show, but every character now feels more quirky and well-rounded in their own right after this action-packed issue. 

Final Thoughts

Hack/Slash was one of my favorite new titles from last year, and it feels so great to have it back. This issue was worth the wait as it delivered a fun, vulgar, and blood-soaked romp with its cast of strangely loveable characters. But, just like how I felt from reading issue #2, it’s bittersweet knowing we’re inching even closer to the end of the miniseries. Zoe Thorogood’s run on the series has been so good from start to finish that it makes me greedily want more of it. Regardless of what comes after, I still eagerly await how this story wraps up when Cassie and the gang finally come face-to-face with the ominous slasher killer killer. 

Hack_Slash_ Back to School 3 - school girl peeking thru the ventImage: Image Comics

Why You Should Read Hack/Slash: Back to School

  • Every character in the comic is rich with quirks that make them loveable and horrifying.
  • You’ll be hard-pressed to find a comic with visuals more twisted than what’s shown here.
  • The playful characters and terrifying monsters all come together for a wild horror story unlike any other.

TAGGED: Image Comics
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