Money Often Costs Too Much – Billionaire Island #2 Review
Billionaire Island #2
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh
Color by Chris Chuckry
Letters by Rob Steen
Extras by Blair, Schoeneck, Demont, McClaren, McCourt, Lee
Published by Ahoy Comics
Billionaire Island. In this haven for the ultra rich, anything goes. That is, if a person has the money to pay for such extravagances. Mark Russell’s newest satirical comic is as cutting as it is timely. In the year 2044, it’s tough being rich. Global warming has caused oceans to rise and coastlines have become flooded. The gap between the one-percent and everyone else is now miles wide, and the ninety-nine percent aren’t happy about it. It’s dangerous being super rich, but luckily there’s a solution: Freedom Unlimited, an artificial island in International waters outside the Gulf of Mexico, has become a sanctuary for the ultra rich.
The story follows three characters, each in Freedom Unlimited for their own reasons. Billionaire Rick Canto is the father of a conspiracy to reduce the world population using a sterility virus placed in food supplies sent to impoverished nations. Life on Freedom Unlimited keeps him away from the suspicions of the rest of the world. Trent has come to Freedom Unlimited seeking revenge after his family was killed by complications caused by the virus’s reaction to their biology. Shelly, an intrepid reporter doing an expose on the virus conspiracy, has come to Freedom Unlimited continue her investigation. First however, she’ll have to get out of the giant hamster cage Canto trapped her in last issue.
This second issue starts with a hilarious advertisement for a fake movie. Then we see Trent traveling to Freedom Unlimited. The comedy continues as he’s accompanied by a wise cracking Texan. Russell moves the plot forward while also giving the reader background information on Trent and Shelly’s pasts. Russell also showcases both characters’ ingenuity and drive over the course of a thrilling action sequence. I love the technology shown throughout the comic. It’s more advanced than ours, but not so advanced that the story stops feeling realistic. That to me, is the mark of good speculative fiction. I thought it was especially cool that the air ships are large drones piloted from within with video game controllers.
Pugh uses a standard looking art style, but draws with a high level of detail. Every character, from the main characters to the background characters, look like actual people. Each is drawn to look different from all the others, giving the story a sense of realism. In the real world, no two human beings look exactly alike. The same thing can be said for the humans in Billionaire Island. Like all Ahoy Comics, the issue concludes with short original works from various creators. Even though they aren’t connected to Billionaire Island’s story, the two shorts in this issue complement Russell and Pugh’s work really well. That’s saying something, because Russell and Pugh are truly at the top of their game. There are only two issues of Billionaire Island left. Catch up on this poignant and humorous comic today.
Billionaire Island #2