"Now Billy. This is a Supernatural Underground Night Club" - Airon
Having defeated the demonic wolf pack Billy and his guardian angel Airon relax in a Café, which gives Airon time to bring Billy up to speed with all things heavenly and for the duo to devise their next move as Billy continues to seek vengeance for his Mother's death. Meanwhile in the depths of hell the Dark Satanic Overlord is hatching his own plan involving Billy's Brother, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, and some weekend passes to Heaven. Said plan does not involve Ninja Monkeys, much to the disappointment of Trenchie.
Due to various commitments it's been a while since I've touched bases with Billy, which is something I'm planning to remedy over the next few weeks. Our Hayden Fryer review queue, dude's been prolific recently, is starting to reach unheard of heights so I'm getting my Billy on, doing the hard yards, and having a bloody good time into the bargain. Expect a whole bunch of Hayden Fryer reviews through the course of July folks, let's get it happening with this review.
Mr Fryer must have been off his meds when he tackled Clubs & Brothers as the script for this Issue ranges from the hell bound heart here on earth, to the depths of Hell, prior to soaring to the gates of Heaven. Talk about your epic nature, this really shouldn't work, but somehow Hayden Fryer has it roped and branded. Clearly the script is working toward the final confrontation but talk about throwing a wide net, two thumbs up to Fryer for not keeping anything in the tank while keeping things flowing. I'm nearly always up for the grand view in the dark genre, and Fryer doesn't disappoint here.
Which isn't to say that Fryer doesn't keep his eye on the overall plot arc or allows the comedy to drop off, those parts of the comic are still rocking on. Billy has a lot of one liners to get through, Trenchie has his schlock going down, and the overall atmosphere is more Adam Sandler than Danny Boyle. Shop smart folks, if you are entering the comic expecting a blood bath at the gates of Hell then you will be disappointed, however if you are after turning that smile upside down then you have come to the right place.
Hayden Fryer lays down what you could call a recurrent theme as he ties together his two main plot directions together. Both Billy and the Four Horsemen have issues with gate keepers. Billy has to confront a Dwarf with issues about who should enter a Nightclub, while the Horsemen have to confront the dude who guards the entrance to Heaven. It's a nice touch that should have those who appreciated solid writing nodding their heads in approval.
The style of art continues from where it left off in Issue #3. We're talking grey shaded panels that maintain a naïve approach. Okay we're not talking realism, the normal forte of the naïve school, what we are talking is an almost childlike approach to the graphics that will either work like a brought one for you or might leave you adding it to your "things that make me go hmmm" list. The art was working for me and generally fits with the atmosphere and the beat going down. If you want anything else then you really are missing the point here.
Before I forget, and edge over the end of the review, Hayden Fryer actually has me sweating on reading the next Issue to determine what plan the Big Bad has for dealing with Billy. Sure I've been reviewed Series Two already, so know that Billy survives to fight another day, but there's still a whole bunch of things that need to be resolved here. You really can't ask for much more from a comic than having you wanting to rip into the next instalment.
As stated it's been a while since Billy last hit my screen, yes am doing the electronic thing, but I got right back into the story as Issue #4 unfolded. With a two prong final coming at me I'm in good shape and still have my Billy on. If you don't mind your dark genre with a humorous edge to it, and let's face facts folks that combination is pretty hard to get right, then you are in the right place. Hayden Fryer goes epic in a sort of restricted fashion and it works like a Ridley Scott Alien movie. Recommended to people who don't need things serious 24/7 and who can groove to the surreal Monty Pythonish approach. Is Billy the Downunder comic version of Ash, aim your boomstick at that and let us know your thoughts yo!
If after a copy of Series 1 your best bet is to hit Billy Central and click on the numerous links. There's a whole bunch of other Billy related books available as well, so dive on in there I can guarantee you will be chuckling away within a few minutes.
Oops almost forgot to mention, for folks slightly concerned about content, no problems. You can happily dive into the series without having pea soup or heads rotating through 360 degrees coming at you.