Billy Demon Slayer S2#7: Showdown In Hell (2009)

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


“Drown me in chicken soup, is that it !?!” - Billy

With Mummu rising, not yet consolidated whatever that means, the final confrontation between Billy and an ancient evil is ready to roll. Of course he will also need to overcome the possessing mist and the riders of the apocalypse first, you didn't think it was going to be plain sailing did you?

Having cried freedom for the townsfolk Billy needs to also dial in Loren, Blake, and his Mom. With Hell at stake it's going to come down to the last surviving blade of Marduk, as Billy with the help of some strange bedfellows faces the final confrontation. But is there still room for a final twist in the plot?

Before getting into the final issue of Billy Demonslayer Series 2 a couple of housekeeping matters have cropped up. Okay if you want, strange person you are, to reproduce these reviews it would be polite to ask and you know like credit the source. Stealing other people's work is called plagiarism and it's bad, real bad. Here at ScaryMinds we're quite happy to share the love, so drop a line and tell us where things will be reprinted. Quotes from the reviews are cool, knock yourself out with those.

A few people have questioned my “Genre” descriptions of Billy Demonslayer, and you are right to do so. In an effort to be brief and to the point I may have missed whole dimensions of goodness in trying to fit the graphic novel neatly into a pigeon hole. The comic screams out comedy, young adult, horror, demonic hamster, you name it. Just acknowledging the point here kids.

Alrighty so the final issue of series two of Billy Demonslayer pulled all the right triggers as far as I'm concerned, while also holding one fat twist toward the end. We get the expected smack down between Billy and Mummu, except it doesn't go quite as expected with another character entering the fray in the final climatic moments. I leave it to you to find out who, but I can almost guarantee you aren't going to guess. All I'm prepared to say is it isn't Nibbles, my mouth is sealed, read the comic to get the good oil. So as the final panel lay read in my hands I was pretty happy with how things concluded, I got the expected outcomes but also got a neat twist that I quite honestly didn't see coming. You really can't ask for more from a script point of view.

While the scripting has been one of the strengths of this graphic novel, let's face facts here how often do you come across the Anti-Christ helping out humanity, there's been a tad bit of confusion from time to time with some of the nuances. I would assume if I had been following the adventures of Billy right from series one this would be less of an issue. Remembering by “issue” I mean minor query. Some research, yes we do that, informs us that the Red referenced in the final issue is from another comic, Billy and Red have crossed swords before. Why Deadus spends his time reading highbrow books is never explained, not that ScaryMinds finds reading to be a bad thing. And I have to say the whole gang from the Underworld are never properly introduced, once again the feeling is that you are probably meant to know who they are from the previous series. So yeah some minor issues here and there, though not enough to affect enjoyment of series two.

While our central hero, the titular Billy, is indeed the Anti-Christ, and we spend much of series two in the Underworld, construing Billy Demonslayer as solely a horror vehicle would be to limit the appeal of a well written and well drawn graphic novel. Hayden Fryer hits the eject button on what could have been a dark fire and brimstone venture, while injecting large doses of humour and an almost North American superhero feeling to things. Billy has his powers, obviously, but he also can spit out a one liner that would make Bruce Campbell envious. We're talking wider appeal here than simply your average horror consumer. So if you don't like horror, sick person that you are, then you can still feel free to dial in here. Fryer does a downunder South Park take, except without a former Iraqi leader present.

I should also add here that with Showdown In Hell you are also getting a bumper issue of 44 pages of absolute Billy madness including hand saws. Now tell me you aren't going to wrap your chainsaw around that concept. Within the 44 pages the plot arcs are resolved, nothing is left hanging till next series (assuming there is going to be one), and the vast majority of pages focus on action. No chick moments people, Billy is here one lining his way through hell.

Guess we should really have a yarn about the artwork, as I try horribly badly to sum up the series and the final issue. Hayden Fryer as usual delivers the cover artwork, as opposed to our claim a review back that someone else did one, and does so in full frontal colour. As I keep saying tees are something people should be looking at, hit up cafepress or one of their competitors as it doesn't cost anything to get a product shop happening. We're actually thinking of that for ScaryMinds. Well okay a Billy Demonslayer tee isn't likely to go down well at “the store”, but lets be honest here, salespeople there aren't sitting on their arses in the tea room reading the comic anyway. The tee is for the rest of us, groovy! Which is a round about way of saying all the covers, including the one for Issue 7, are pretty cool on the artwork front.

Did I ever mention the panel artwork? Probably, I can't remember, but to recap, it's naive (art movement amigos), gets it's point across, and makes for an entertaining time between the covers. At no stage during series two did I have a problem seeing what was happening, reading the speech bubbles, or wondering why there were smudges on the pages. Simple in concept but easy on the eye, Hayden Fryer just might know what he's doing.

For those who have been following Billy's latest crusade against the forces of evil, Showdown In Hell finishes off series two in style. A bumper edition with lots going down, you'll need a couple of reads to get the full meaty goodness. Only downside is that's it, there isn't any more, well unless Fryer is working away on a series three? I certainly had a lot of fun with the comic, the graphic novel overall, and am more than pleased with my time in Country. Billy Demonslayer is da man, check it out, huge recommendation.

Wanting a copy but too polite to ask? Set your browser to Siberian and for the low price of $5 you could be clutching Issue 7 in your coke stained hands quicker than Billy takes down a demon. If you haven't got your Billy on yet, then why not buy the entire series for the low price of $25. The sharp eyed have probably already worked out Siberian are selling Billy tees, well good for you, I was making a point, shut up and go buy a comic and a tee, no one likes a smart-arse.

Loyal readers, all two of em, will be pleased to know that ScaryMinds ain't done with the Billy mayhem yet. No sirreee bob! Hayden Fryer, having worked out restraining orders aren't affective against our minions, has sent in series one and a bonus “Billy v Red” two shot. So keep checking back Kids, we're going back to Walksville in the new future!

ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...

  Hayden Fryer finishes series two in style.