Reviews, Comics

Hack/Slash: Back to School #4 Review: The Final Class

Discover what horrific lessons Cassie Hack must learn in the final issue of Zoe Thorogood’s Hack/Slash: Back to School.

HackSlash BtS 4 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesApr 17, 2024, 9:30 AM

Hack/Slash: Back to School #4

HackSlash BtS 4 Full Cover

Writer: Zoe Thorogood

Artist: Zoe Thorogood

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: April 17, 2024

Page Count: 32

Format: Single-issue

In true Zoe Thorogood style, Hack/Slash: Back to School ends with an issue that blends a little bit of angst, romance, and comedy with plenty of nightmarish horrors. It caps off the incredible miniseries with a neat and bloody bow.

Never would I have guessed that a Hack/Slash title would be one of my favorite new series from Image Comics last year. As someone who was never too big on the original slasher film-inspired series, I was not sure what to expect of it going in. All I knew was that it had Zoe Thorogood putting her crazy creative spin on it, and that was enough for me to buy in. So, what have I learned now that we’ve reached the end of Cassie Hack’s school year in Darla Ritz’s Academy for Girls? You will have to read my full review of Hack/Slash: Back to School #4 to find out!


The issue opens on a somber note, with Cassie and the other girls mourning the death of Kitty. A dark cloud looms over Darla’s school knowing that the monster ominously known as The Mother can infiltrate at any time. Yet, during this time of sadness and trauma, Sam and Cassie develop a bond that takes their relationship to a new level. But just when they let their guard down, the monster that’s been haunting them strikes in the most horrific way possible. 

Hack_Slash_ Back to School 4 - Three ghostly charactersImage: Image Comics


To say the end of this miniseries was a bittersweet experience would be an understatement. In my previous reviews, I often lamented how I wished this run was longer than just four issues. As soon as I finished reading the first issue, I already had an inkling that we were in for something special. And I was right, as the series just kept getting better. This latest issue encapsulates what makes this mini such a fun ride, and why Zoe Thorogood continues to be one of the most promising cartoonists to follow in comics today. Her ability to blend deeply personal and emotional narratives with nightmarish sights of horror is second to none. In this issue packed with comedy, horror, and a little romance, everything gels beautifully together for a heartfelt and bloody goodbye to the story.

Hack_Slash_ Back to School 4 - Characters talking while diningImage: Image Comics

While it typically goes without saying, I must point out how incredible the art is in this issue. Fans of Thorogood’s It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth will be happy to see another issue in this series that mixes art styles and mediums to tell an emotionally impactful story. While not as outlandish as what is seen in issue #2, issue #4 delves deeper into the traumatic lives Cassie and Sam went through before they stepped foot in Darla’s school. The shifting art styles add a unique touch to the issue’s more emotionally gripping moments. Then when it comes time for the art to revert to its “normal” style, like being snapped back into reality, you’re hit with some of the most horrific visuals in the series. Cliché though it may be to say, this issue truly is a roller coaster of emotions from start to finish. As the finale flips from emotional character moments to grotesque body horror at the drop of the hat, you’re left to process the madness as quickly as you can. As much as I wanted to see this run go longer, this issue delivered a satisfying yet heartbreaking end that feels right for a series where death is as normal as breathing.

A nice touch to this issue as well is that the end of the comic features a comprehensive timeline of Hack/Slash’s publication history, in case you’re craving more campy, blood-soaked adventures. Not only does it pinpoint where Back to School fits within the grand scheme of Cassie’s life as a slasher hunter, but it also provides you with a definitive reading order to follow. The list even goes as far as to include the books published by IDW, Dynamite, and DDP, giving you a full scope of Cassie’s strange adventures across twenty years in comics. 

Hack_Slash_ Back to School 4 - Characters conversing and talking about a bat with nailsImage: Image Comics

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a new or old fan of the Hack/Slash series, Zoe Thorogood’s run on the series is a phenomenal ride that stands out on its own. Few comics come to mind that can so seamlessly flip between raunchy humor, teenaged angst, and grotesque horror and not make you feel you’re experiencing emotional whiplash. With its endless charm and style, this tight, four-issue run is probably one of the most fun you’ll have from reading a story where people regularly get their faces chopped off.

Why You Should Read Hack/Slash: Back to School

  • The story ends on a tragic note that fits right into the world of Hack/Slash
  • Zoe Thorogood’s knack for mixing media and art styles elevates storytelling in the issue.
  • The series balances horror, comedy, and a little romance for a very unique experience.

TAGGED: Image Comics
Free Comic Book Day Register