Billy the Pyro
Staff: Brad Burdick Fabian Cobos
SO pretty but SO predictable
So tight off the bat the lettering bothers me. At the default zoom setting you’d have to be a hawk to read the text on the page it is so small. After zooming in a few times I can still read it but the first text we encounter is still comparatively small to the rest of the page. The keening and line spacing could also have been spaced a bit more. Right now it feels very cramped and relegated to a much smaller portion of the page than it should be (it’s tiny) judging by the large amount of free space in the comic (though that could be strictly a compositional thing). Not to mention that the narration has this small font on a yellow-orange background. This does get better as the comic goes on and I’m probably just nitpicking here.
The art style is as polished and professional as any big name publisher with special attention being given to scene composition. One thing of note is that they really do a fantastic job of populating the background in every scene. You’ll notice that some comics will provide a great deal of detail in the background of one location and basically just leave the background blank (or maybe have some vague texture or whatnot) but this one does a good job of composing an interesting scene that is evenly populated. Also of note is that the artist does a great job with subtle expressions, something not always well-executed with an art style like this.
So I got a confession. I didn’t like Catcher in the Rye. I just thought it was a boring book about a kid who was way too full of himself and a I didn’t really like a few hundred pages of someone complaining in my ear. I only bring it up because 10 pages in and that’s all I’ve heard thus far. The main character is troubled and his life sucks. It’s a familiar tune (“Second verse, same as the first!”) and while it’s well-written here, it does seem a bit overplayed. As soon as the 2nd part of the comic’s plot hit, I could tell where it was going and the rest fell into place like a familiar puzzle. It’s a real pity, they set the story up competently and the writer clearly is very good at writing identifiable characters but the premise has just been played out a dozen times before. It’s kind of got Legacy syndrome. The basic story of “kid’s life sucks, he’s a misanthrope, he gains powers, he doesn’t understand/can’t control them” has been done to death (Rogue from the X-Men comes to mind but I can probably think of a dozen more).
In conclusion, this is a BEAUTIFUL comic (check out the last few pages if you don’t see it in the first few) that has a great writer attached but a totally overdone premise ruins what could otherwise have been a masterpiece. I think you should check it out if superhero/villian comics are your thing but don’t expect much intrigue.
PS: Did I mention it was REALLY pretty?
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