In a secret, sacred village, during a rainstorm, the long journey of Basilisk comes to an end. Though, of course, we are left with the implications of a beginning.
Basilisk has been a consistent highlight on the stands over the last year. Jonas Scharf’s artwork and Alex Guimarães’ colors certainly made it a visual standout that was hard to deny, and it tops the list of Cullen Bunn’s absolute avalanche of current and recent titles.
Twelve issues ago, the series began by avoiding its own inciting incident: a monstrously powered collective had already descended from some mysterious origin point in the mountains, and the resultant wholesale slaughter of a village is shared, in snippets, throughout the series.
It’s this mystery—where did they come from, how did they arrive here—that has been a small driving force lying beneath the larger, ever-present narrative of gruesome violence and revenge. That sort of mystery, however, is generally best left unsolved; in the weird fiction from which Basilisk draws (at least some) inspiration, the unknown and unsolvable is often the very purpose of the story.
To that end, this final issue of Basilisk walks a very particular line: how much of the origin do we uncover and how much do we leave unsaid?
The book, wisely, puts most emphasis on concluding de facto protagonist Hannah’s bloody revenge arc, leading to the final confrontation between the final baddie and herself. This focus saves the book from crossing the line of over-explaining the unknown, but only just. Regan, the powered character nearest the side of the angels, gets right up to the source of her power, and witnesses the end of an unimpressive creature that might have been best left unseen.
This lackluster revelation aside, the human-based aspects of the narrative find fitting conclusions, brutal but deserved. Hannah’s story ends as it inevitably had to but manages to find that ending in a way that is both earned and dignified; the remaining villains—both powered and Faithful—come to deserved, satisfying, and brutal ends.
What’s left, then, is a lone surviving character at a literal new dawn. It isn’t an inconclusive end, implying some unguessed-at future; the valuable mystery, just barely unsolved, and a force left in a fragile world.
It’s a dangling conclusion, one that implies a further narrative unlikely to be produced.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!