Billy Demon Slayer S2#5: Thy Darkest Hour (2007)

Sex :
Violence :
Editor Hayden Fryer
Publisher Siberian Productions
Writers Hayden Fryer
Art and Colours Hayden Fryer, Emma Toia
Cover Hayden Fryer
Genre Demonic


“You dare to insult us? The Horsemen!?!” - War

Deadus looks to have gained the upper hand down in Hell and also on the streets of Walksville, however Billy's cousin Joseph could be a very big loose cog in the works of Hell born machinations. The mist has seeped down into Brimstone land and it's working like a virulent strand of plague as the local residents succumb to the evil mist. On the bright side Deadus informs the Four Horsemen that they have possessed humans as subjects. Meanwhile Joseph aka Trenchie is planning to invade Heaven, as we await the ultimate evil that wants to gain the throne of Hell.

Upstairs Scythe is searching for Billy in a final effort to defeat the forces of evil, well the ones that have invaded Hell anyway rather than the regular ones. Billy is also possessed by the mist and is after some mayhem and destruction but gradually fights off the effects, and quite possibly some demonic hamster guts as well. All roads lead to Hell, can Billy make a difference and stop Deadus' master from regaining corporal form?

Billy Demonslayer is another series I've been remiss in not reviewing fully over the last few months. For no apparent reason it slipped between the cracks of the review pile, well okay lost the comics due to a computer hard-disk meltdown and have only recently restored them. So without further adieu or anything else let's see where Billy and team are at.

Right up front I have to say Hayden Fryer is nothing if not ambitious with his script for the second season of this comic series. Previously Billy has fought demonic hamsters, I kid you not, as events spiral out of control around him. This issue we learn Deadus' evil plan for the take over of Hell, don't think I've ever read that plot development before, as a first step prior to the invasion of Heaven itself. So you can't say the epic quality is lacking here, though Fryer keeps everything focused on the here and now rather then diffusing things with broad strokes. So while it's all doom and destruction on various plains of existence we still get to focus on the current action rather than being forced into the remote by sweeping plot movements. Which is just as well, as yee olde zombie movie has demonstrated that the apocalypse is only ever effective in small bite sized chucks rather than grandiose six course meals.

While the overall plot flow is fairly John Milton, Hayden Fryer keeps the light hearted nature of things rocking along to break up the demonic. For example we learn the Devil's throne doesn't have cup holders, which is no doubt going to impact on resale value, and Blake surprisingly seems to be taking Hell in his stride. We assume due to lack of Emos down below. So while Billy Demonslayer travels the Brimstone path, we're not talking playing for keepsies or dark Satanic overtones that would put the comic beyond younger readers.

Just to re-emphasis the point here folks, Billy Demonslayer is safe material for most readers. There are demonic themes but nothing that will have readers conjuring up The Exorcist. So if after a fun read that dials in a bunch of stuff you haven't read before then you are in safe territory.

Mighty fine effort on the art front here, that should have most people dialling in for the art rather plot happy with life. Highlight this issue was Billy facing possession issues and gradually overcoming them, all in the eyes, a highly effective representation of what's going down that was a joy to run with. I guess we can call the art work minimalistic, facial expressions for example are drawn to the lowest possible detail to get the effect across, but no points lost there as the style seems to be a perfect fit for the tone and style of the script.

For people after value for money, and I guess given international economic meltdowns that's something to be approved of, Hayden Fryer not only gives you the comic itself but a short at the back of the magazine. The short covers the sort of artistic disagreements that can happen over major script lines, and the moral is leave Fryer to draw his own panels folks, he takes this stuff very seriously.

Billy Demonslayer is pounding down the home straight toward the ultimate confrontation, I assume between Billy and the primeval Mummu, and is picking up pace while doing so. I had a lot of fun with Thy Darkest Hour, though it took me a while to get back into my Billy groove and place all the characters. Good solid issue that will have you reaching for the next issue to see what's going to go down.

If after getting your Billy on then cruise to the official site where you can purchase individual comics or pick up the entire collection in one foul swoop. At $3.50 per issue it's not a deal breaker kids, so knock yourself out there.

ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...

  A major confrontation is looming and Hayden Fryer is priming the powder.