Just when you think she’s out, June Branch is pulled back in Basketful of Heads #7. The long journey through Brody Island, Maine in search of her boyfriend Liam has been an endless nightmare, to say the least. The final issue sees June come face to face with the mastermind behind all her misery, but the real question remains: will she live to tell anyone her horrifying tale, or will she too succumb to the horrors that lie within the island?
Writer Joe Hill was able to find the perfect balance of horror, comedy, and suspense with each issue of this series, and #7 is no exception. Right from the jump, more secrets are revealed involving Liam’s captors and we even get some origins on the mystical mighty axe June’s been swinging. But what I loved most about Basketful of Heads #7 is the evolution of June Branch’s character.
Let’s face it: the best horror stories involve the endless trope of some innocent person being flung into certain doom. It works, and it always has. The question June’s character brings up is what do you do when your back’s against the wall with no alternative but to survive? You fight.
We’ve watched June go from hiding in a laundry hamper to beheading her enemies with a single swipe of her trusty axe. Issue #7 does an amazing job of displaying her will and determination to save her boyfriend. She even cut her thumb off to get to him in the previous issue. Not only does that show the growth of her character, but the lengths someone is willing to go to when they love somebody.
It could just be my imagination, but the overall look and feel of this issue reminded me of the great ’70s horror films like Tower of Evil, The Last House on the Left, and even Halloween. Moreover, Leomacs has ramped up the intensity of the artwork in this one. There’s strong usage of motion lines, close-ups, and facial expressions that sell everything so well. The brutality level equally matches the panel scenes to a T. There’s a fantastic double splash page that makes you think of Creepshow and Night of the Living Dead.
Unfortunately, Basketful of Heads #7 brings the series to a close, but it does an awesome job of wrapping up all loose ends and securing itself as an instant classic. Joe Hill’s Hill House Comics has a winner with this one.