Basketful of Heads #3 – Joe Hill, Writer; Leomacs, Dan McDaid, Artists; Dave Stewart, John Kalisz, Colorists
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: Basketful of Heads, the first of the Hill House books to debut is still the one that isn’t fully clicking with me, due to its slower pace and its odd grindhouse-inspired concept.
Last issue, we saw what our heroine’s mysterious viking axe could do as she turned one of her attackers into a sentient decapitated head. After some really strange and panicked conversations between them, she gets a clue to the location of her kidnapped boyfriend – as well as some hints from the drug-addled head that he might not have been all he pretended to be. Needing his knowledge to get the truth, she tucks the head into a basket and goes on the road. The problem is, this issue oddly keeps her as mostly a cipher and tries to make us sympathize with the panicked head – who was trying to do horrible things to our heroine last issue.
Horror always skews things a bit, but it feels like our main character needs a few more layers.
The best thing this series has going for it is the art of Leomacs, who was born to do a moody, slow-burn horror. As our unlikely duo goes on the road, the gloom and rain perfectly make every little detail of the Maine environs teem with menace. But with half the book taken up by arguing between a girl and a head, it doesn’t quite deliver that menace.
The only really scary part of the book comes when a trucker they’re getting a ride from discovers her secret and reacts…poorly, leading to a brutal last-page segment that could force her to do the unthinkable next issue. It’s creepy and gruesome, but the problem for this as a horror concept is that it has an overpowered heroine and a series of underpowered, rather pathetic villains. There isn’t the tension and sense of danger there needs to be in a story like this. It’s a revenge story, and one that seems to be marching towards an inevitable conclusion of everyone winding up in the basket.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.