Basilisk has been a creepy, gory, and delightful series so far as it blends horror and fantasy with what appears to be superheroes. Cullen Bunn and Jonas Scharf are slowly peeling back the curtain on a mysterious group of sadistic godlike characters and the revenge one woman seeks to find some peace. The fourth issue is out this week and it’s all about setting traps and the storm that’s coming.
Similar to the first issue, Basilisk #4 opens with a flashback to the day the five super-powered people did horrible things to innocent people in a small town. They gained incredible abilities and while some relished using their abilities to hurt others, there were some who were confused and even scared. These flashbacks help add context to the five known as the Chimera and how they had humble beginnings before a cult rose up around them.
Much of this issue is focused on Hannah’s thoughts as she rigs the woods with traps. She’s seeking revenge for what the Chimera did to her life and she’s a woman who is very prepared. As she sets traps, her inner monologue is well written via captions — and also well lettered by Ed Dukeshire — giving us a glimpse at how hyper-focused she is as the Chimera grow closer. One might liken her narration to someone like Rambo, as this plan — and the murder that’ll take place due to her traps — are all that matters to her now.
When the action kicks into gear, the book takes on a more violent track. Scharf’s art, along with colors by Alex Guimaraes, is good at showing the damage Hannah can deal. The lighting of the forest is quite nice too, helping to convey the nature around them is peaceful and yet total chaos ensues soon after. Meanwhile, Regan, the super-powered character helping her, is shrouded as if she embodies the shame of what she and the other Chimera have done. Regan almost stands guard for Hannah, who goes full Rambo here.
The ending to the issue does feel a bit frustrating. You’d think the Chimera would take their chance to take out Hannah, but instead because of info the reader doesn’t yet know they pull away. Likely there will be a good reason for this, but it feels a bit cheap here not knowing why they wouldn’t violently rip Hannah to shreds, especially after what she does here.
Basilisk continues to be an intriguing miniseries blending gore, horror, and fantasy elements into an action-packed fourth issue. This issue finally shows us Hannah can very much stand on her own, even against gods. It’s a nice reminder of how genre is just a construct of the mind and when blended well it works wonderfully.
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