Brody Island hasn’t been the nicest place for June Branch and things don’t seem to be letting up any time soon. All she ever wanted to do was spend some quality time with her boyfriend, Liam. Instead, June’s had to hack her way through a conspiracy she never asked to be a part of in the first place. Writer Joe Hill and artist Leomacs continue to meddle with June’s sanity, fill her basket with more severed heads, and take us one step further down the insane path to the truth in Basketful of Heads #4.
In the last issue, June hitched a ride with a stranger named Mr. Hamilton who seemed like a nice guy despite the fact that he was drinking and driving. He was polite, offered her a ride out of the rain and even gave her a rain poncho to wear. But things quickly took a turn for the worse when June found a pair of shears in one of the jacket pockets, the same shears used to cut off her boyfriend Liam’s finger. At the same time, Mr. Hamilton finds the decapitated head of Puzo (the first guy whose head she cut off) stored in the back of his truck and tries to attack her with a chain.
This leads us to the current book where the actions of Mr. Hamilton leaves him beheaded like the previous fella, Puzo. As the reader, you continue to learn that perhaps Liam didn’t give June the full story of what happened to the girl on the bridge and that June should trust people a little less as well. In addition to that, June spins a bit of time questioning her own mental health and whether or not her killing the two men is justifiable. Yes, yes it is.
There are two things the writing has definitely established so far. First, all the villains of the story are men. Second, you would think you wouldn’t pick a fight with someone who has an axe but people still do. Hill has done a phenomenal job so far building up the suspense on just what the hell is going on.
The book boasts yet another top-notch writing effort while remaining completely unpredictable. We’ve been given enough information about June as a character to feel empathy for the horrifying things that she’s had to endure so far. And let’s face it, some of the best horror happens to the nicest people — it’s a formula for success in both comics and in movies. The best is yet to come because I for one can’t wait to see June reunited with Liam to see if this whole journey back to him has been worth it.
Leomacs’ art remains a driving force, combining with some solid writing to deliver a ’70s style horror classic. I’m not sure if Leomacs has ever spent any time outside at night during a rainstorm for drawing inspiration but it’s uncanny how brilliantly he captures June’s surroundings. His attention to detail is great; for example, even the fog he captures on the windows of the truck during June’s encounter with Mr. Hamilton is spot on. And he’s brought so much emotion and facial essence to June’s character — it’s worthy of a standing ovation for sure. One of my favorite storytelling moments of his art during this issue is when June reaches the Brody Island police department.
Basketful of Heads #4 is another great issue that helps to put the clues together to solve the mystery behind who took Liam and what the captors really want. The illustrations are great and really sell Junes emotions and rage. Only three issues left in this amazing series so hopefully, we’ll get some backstory on the mystical axe that June’s been dispatching her enemies with.