By Barry Keating (Story), Tim Seeley (Story & Script), Emily Stone (Art), and Mark Englert (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: While I have enjoyed the Hack/Slash crossover with the Re-Animator for the most part, I can’t help but be slightly disappointed by how Herbert West continues to feel like more of a plot device than a distinct guest star. I give credit to Barry Keating and Tim Seeley for making West’s appearance feel right at home within the overarching plot of the series. However, the last two issues have left me wanting more interaction between Cassie Hack and Dr. West. That said, if the ending of last issue is any indication, the conclusion should deliver what I’ve wanted since I first heard about the crossover arc.

The Story: The re-animation of Cassie’s mother means the return of the Lunch Lady. With her emotions cranked up to eleven as a result of the re-agent used on her by Dr. West, the Lunch Lady picks up right where she left off in an effort to regain her former appearance. Cassie, Vlad, and Dr. West are the only ones that can stop her before more victims are added to her “stew.”

What’s Good: Despite my qualms with the way this crossover was used, the violent, character-driven conclusion is actually quite satisfying. It’s tough not to feel for Cassie after seeing how things play out. Also, I must once again mention how well Tim Seeley writes Dr. Herbert West, as it comes extremely close to bringing Jeffrey Combs’ iconic performance to the page. It definitely leaves me wanting more.

What’s Not So Good: Visually, Hack/Slash #17 is average at its very best. While there are a few good looking moments and some particularly nice panel layout near the end, the book just seems to lack any sort of polish whatsoever. The characters look inconsistent, some of the pencil work looks downright sloppy, and the coloring makes everything look muddy. Disappointing in every way.

Conclusion: If you can ignore some of the glaring artwork issues, you are sure to find a lot to like here if you are a fan of Hack/Slash or The Re-Animator. While not everything that I hoped for, the conclusion definitely makes up for the arc’s slow start.

Grade: C+

-Kyle Posluszny