Review: BASKETFUL OF HEADS #1- Glorious 80’s Summer Camp Horror

With escaped convicts, oncoming storms, and old relics, Scooby Doo and the gang would feel right at home on Brody Island in Basketful of Heads #1, out this week from DC Comics.

Basketful of Heads #1 is written by Joe Hill, illustrated by LEOMACS, colored by Dave Stewart, and lettered by Deron Bennett. This issue from Hill and company gears up for a fun and exciting romp through a small coastal tourist trap. If 80’s horror is your flavor then look no further.

While Basketful of Heads #1 has all the makings of the first 5 minutes of an episode of Scooby Doo, it introduces the characters in a streamlined way that doesn’t reveal too much but gives the readers people to care about. Strong characters are the most important part of a horror story. Writers have to make us care about the people these terrifying things are happening to or there’s no suspense, nothing with any scare value, because we don’t care.

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Joe Hill creates a gang that we can invest some emotion into with his first chapter of Hill House Comics. Hill sets the bar pretty high for this story by referencing Shawshank Redemption as the name of the prison the convicts have escaped from, so we’ll see if making readers think of Andy Dufresne is at his own peril or a worthy comparison.

This book looks like it could be an offshoot of the Archie universe as well. The artwork and layout bring back feelings of nostalgia and simpler times, when your mom called you home with a loud whistle or a car horn. Soft lines and and pale colors give this issue a look of yesteryear.

Stewart’s faded colors bring the beach town to life. He does a magnificent job of capturing the weather change with his color palette. Nothing is too bright and everything looks like it’s being viewed through a pair of aviator sunglasses. A storm starts to roll in and that beautiful pre-storm orange rolls in with it, when the sun has to break through the cloud cover close to sunset, it’s the beauty right before the destruction.

All the chaos of the day on Brody Island comes together as Basketful of Heads #1 brews up the perfect storm. Summer is over, convicts have escaped, a tropical storm is coming, there’s a cursed ax in a display case, and the sheriff running the town has a huge house, so he’s definitely up to some extra curricular activities in his free time, or he’s taking bribes and robbing all the tourists.

There’s so much to focus on in Basketful of Heads #1 that there’s no way to predict how this narrative unfolds, and that’s what I like about this story. It’s set up in such a way that it could be an homage to 80’s horror, or it could be something completely different. The title leads me to believe it will be the latter.

Hopefully a dog will show up to help, every gang needs a good boy.

What did you think of Basketful of Heads #1? What do you think of the debut of Hill House Comics? Do you think this will be the HBO Max’s Millarworld? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Cody Walker
Cody Walker
Working in the subscription department at the world's largest comic shop. Lover of horror, Jeff Lemire, Tom Petty, hip-hop, kitties, playing bass, screaming loudly, mountains, and great food. Living my best life with no car, riding the rails, reading great stories. If any European readers would like to send me some blood pudding, I'd be ok with that.

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