The supernatural Basilisk reunites the creative team of Bone Parish, which was a favorite horror series of mine. This time the action moves to Appalachia, as a group of five killers emerge from the secluded mountains.
This group of five works together with a hive mind, each part of a chimera, in essence, a monstrous hybrid creature. They all have a power related to the senses: Vanessa, the leader who has the power of touch, bombastic Jimmy who has the power of taste, quiet Manny who has exceptional hearing, flower-child Cara who has the gift of smell, and hooded Regan whose power of sight is deadly to those who she looks at. Regan’s power relates to the title of the series for if you are aware of old legends, a basilisk is a legendary reptile reputed to be a serpent king, who causes death to those who look into its eyes. While some of these powers (esp taste and smell) didn’t strike me as particularly deadly, I trust that author Cullen Bunn will build an interesting story.
Regan has escaped the group and the cult followers, but Hannah, a woman bent on revenge captures her. Hannah is a grieving mother, whose daughter and husband were killed in an early attack by the chimera group when they came down from the mountains into her small town. With nothing left to lose, Hannah wants to kill the group and Regan seems to acquiesce to her demands. Manny also seems to want to pull away, and whispers a prophecy to Regan before he is killed. But the other three plan to dig in, and have an easily manipulated brethren of followers who will obey them.
The art by Jonas Scharf is top-notch, as his work always is. He captures the natural beauty of Appalachia and portrays its inhabitants realistically. Alex Guimarães’s coloring is evocative with blue and dark colors predominating. There are some striking variants at the end, especially Rafael Albuquerque’s covers.
While this first of a planned trilogy didn’t grab me as much as the first volume of Bone Parish did, I am still intrigued enough to find out what happens to the killers and their followers and hope that Hannah gets the revenge she craves.