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Review – Basketful of Heads #1 (DC Comics)

Basketful of Heads #1 (DC Comics) variant cover art (detail) by Joshua Middleton
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8/10
  • Writing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Art - 7/10
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  • Overall - 8/10
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Basketful of Heads #1

Writing: Joe Hill
Artist: Leomacs
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Publisher: DC Comics
Maturity Rating: 17+
Release Date: October 30th, 2019

Basketful of Heads #1 is the first in a new series from DC’s Black Label, and is bound to be a bone-chilling horror through and through.

 

A Horrifying Tale Begins In Basketful of Heads #1

Basketful of Heads #1 is the first issue in a new miniseries from DC Comics. The series is going to run for a total of six issues and is one of the darker series—falling solidly under their new Black Label.

June Branch was a happy and outgoing girl before her life changed forever. Before that day, she had her whole life ahead of her. But that was before four deranged criminals invaded her space and took her boyfriend hostage. The first issue of this harrowing series will introduce us to June and her life before that all went down. As you can probably tell from the cover alone, this series promises to be delightfully dark and dangerous. I know I certainly don’t envy June or the journey she’s about to embark on.

Writing

Basketful of Heads #1 (DC Comics) Cover art by Reiko Murakami
Basketful of Heads #1 (DC Comics) Cover art by Reiko Murakami

Basketful of Heads #1 was not the issue I was expecting, and I mean that in the best ways possible. I knew that this series was going to be a dark one. But what I hadn’t expected was the amount of effort put into making us care about the characters in the story.

Almost the entire first issue is dedicated to June Branch and her life before, well…let’s just call it the incident, for now. June is bright and bubbly. It’s rather hard to picture her walking around with a bloody ax.

Joe Hill did an excellent job of subverting expectations in this first issue, and with forcing an emotional investment out of its readers. As if that wasn’t enough, the series somehow made the mundane—the bright and sunny days of summer—foreboding. That takes effort.

Art

Basketful of Heads #1 is one of those issues that’ll force you to do a double-take. The series starts off with images similar to the cover, but then does a 180, presenting us with a bright and sunny setting. It’s jarring, but in many ways, it added to the intensity of the tale that is bound to follow.

Leomacs was the lead artist for this issue, and they clearly went for a rougher stylized take on the artwork. The style matches perfectly with the tones of the story itself—all raw and emotional. Meanwhile, Dave Stewart provided the coloring, and I feel like he should get a lot of the credit for making a sunny day creepy. After all, it was his color palette that set the tone.

Finally, Deron Bennett was the letterer for the issue. His lettering was both unobtrusive and a stylistic match for the artwork inside these pages.

Conclusion

Basketful of Heads #1 was a fascinating beginning for this series. It wasn’t as dark or as disturbing as I expected—but there’s little doubt in my mind that those elements are on their way. I also have no doubt that we’re going to pay for our emotional investment in the characters. Series like this are always good at making you pay the price…

It will be interesting to see how this tale unfolds over the next five issues. There are plenty of directions that they can take it in, if they so desire. Based on the twists already thrown at us, I doubt it’ll be the predictable path they choose.


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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