June Branch is having a truly awful night. She survived a home invasion that resulted in escaped convicts abducting her boyfriend, and as she protects herself with an enchanted Viking hammer, she finds herself stuck with decapitated heads that won’t die. This is the supernatural crime plot of Hill House Comics’ Basketful Of Heads, written by Joe Hill and set in the same universe as many stories written by his father, Stephen King. (Those aforementioned convicts escaped from Shawshank Prison.) Featuring moody, expressive artwork from Leomacs, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer Deron Bennett, Basketful Of Heads is a thrilling horror story that will appeal to fans of Hill’s Locke & Key, offering fantastic twists while still keeping the narrative grounded in very real human fears. It’s also a pointed commentary on how society consistently underestimates women and forces them to endure neverending abuse from men, and even after June chops the heads off their attackers, they continue to harass her.
This exclusive preview of next week’s Basketful Of Heads #5 catches up with June in a particularly desperate situation, locked inside a jail cell and tortured by the sheriff’s son for information she doesn’t know. The sheriff’s son is the latest misogynist making June’s life hell, and he reveals that all of the evening’s tragic events stem from his relationship with a dead girl who could have ruined his life if she hadn’t mysteriously passed away. The use of splash pages here is extremely effective, starting with a shot of June getting electrocuted that fully captures the rush of pain through June’s body language and the explosion of blue electricity. This book’s title splash pages do excellent work setting the tone for each issue with an image of the titular basket, which becomes increasingly full as the stakes build. June circumstances are only getting worse, but as she’s proven time and again, she has the fortitude to pull through when the going gets tough.