I love horror in all of its forms, and over the past few years, Blumhouse has given opportunities to many horror films that otherwise would not have come out. Now, with Hill House Comics under DC Black Label, we’re getting to see what happens when that freedom for fear is extended to comic books, or at least that’s author Joe Hill’s goal. Now, with Basketful of Heads #1, the first seven-issue series from the imprint, we get a look at the deep dark stories that are to come.
Written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Leomacs, colored by Dave Stewart, and lettered by Deron Bennett, Basketful of Heads #1 is one of my most anticipated comics and of course, it’s just in time for Halloween. The new series follows a young woman named June Branch who is off to spend the weekend with her boyfriend on Brody Island. When the two end up housesitting for the Chief of Police after a death they find themselves falling victim to a home invasion.
Opening with a figure in a bright raincoat carrying a basket covered with a bloodstained American flag, there is a cloud hanging over the story as it develops. If you’ve read the synopsis for the series, you know that there is a final girl journey in-store when June fights back against the invaders, but for now, the story is slow. Now, this isn’t a bad thing, with Basketful of Heads #1 serving as a cold open, establishing the world of Brody Island and the characters within it.
Son of horror legend Stephen King, Hill continues to reference his father’s works by adding in an Easter egg that continues to tie together the works of father and son in a unique horror-filled Maine. But beyond the Shawshank connections, Basketful of Heads #1 is a beautiful beginning to a story and I’m ready to become invested in June’s final girl journey.
Additionally, the connection between June and her boyfriend is adorable, it’s loving, and that alone makes me terrified for them. But this terror, as I waited for the other shoe to drop came from Hill’s ability to craft a real relationship and undercut the summertime cop’s jokes about handing out tickets with the grim reality of discovering bodies after suicide. The art from Leomacs pulls you in. It’s soft and inviting and as the story continues it gets a sharp edge thanks to Stewart’s palette switch from warm to cold, with the last page that gets you ready for the ax to fall. Basketful of Heads #1 successfully begins the new limited series in a 1980s atmosphere that works oh so well to immerse the reader in a horror story.
Overall, I’m excited for the rest of Basketful of Heads even if this issue didn’t give too much away. The premise behind the talking heads at the beginning of the issue is enough to read past the set-up and if you’ve read Hill’s work before like Locke & Key from IDW Publishing you know that when he decides to hit, he’s gonna hit hard.
Basketful of Heads #1 is available wherever comics are sold.
Basketful of Heads #1
I’m excited for the rest of Basketful of Heads even if this issue didn’t give too much away. The premise behind the talking heads at the beginning of the issue is enough to read past the set-up and if you’ve read Hill’s work before like Locke & Key from IDW Publishing you know that when he decides to hit, he’s gonna hit hard.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.