Refrigerator Full of Heads
Rio Youers: writer; Tom Fowler: penciller; Tom Fowler & Craig A. Taillefer: inkers; Bill Crabtree: colorist
DC Black Label, 2022
This entry in the Hill House Comics line is a direct sequel to Joe Hill's Basketful of Heads (DC Black Label, 2020). Most of the action takes place on Brody Island, where June Branch had wielded a Viking axe with the magical property of leaving the head sentient for anyone beheaded with it. June wound up with the titular basketful of heads, before throwing the axe into the bottom of the bay and escaping the island.
This installment again finds the island hosting a large group of unsavory characters (bikers this time). They are seeking not only the axe, but an entire set of cursed Norse artifacts. They kidnap June from New Jersey and bring her back to the island, convinced that she is the key to finding the axe. And their orders come from a mysterious boss, who is revealed to be one of the bad guys from the first story (thought to be dead).
The big climax is an amazing battle between June and the big baddie, with both of them employing the Norse artifacts to great effect. There is shape-shifting, and a disembodied shark's head still in full chomping mode: very surreal. The story concludes with a little coda that sets up a potential third installment. Tom Fowler's cartoony art style really sells the story, and the collection concludes with his character designs.
I bought and enjoyed Basketful of Heads in 2020, but decided to tradewait Refrigerator full of Heads when it was announced. But I have a bad habit of not buying trades I didn't read serialized as my purpose cools. How does Refrigerator compare to Basket specifically? Better? Worse? About the same? Would you recommend it to me personally?
I think if you liked the first one you would enjoy this one as well. With a different artist and a somewhat different tone, it's hard to compare them directly. I guess I would rate it "about the same."
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