While there is a calculating and callous threat to the global population being planned by the elites of Mark Russell and Steve Pugh’s Billionaire Island #4 on their playboy paradise island, it’s all expertly done with laughs aplenty. Yes, it’s an exaggerated take on the current state of wealth distribution in the world, but there’s a good deal in this issue – nay, in this series – that is rather too close to the truth. Take the moment when billionaire bad boy Rick Canto – discussing matters with President Kid Rock – dismisses a plan to tax the super rich in order to save the world from economic and social breakdown in favour of sterilising the population instead. Even weighing up the odds of feeding the lucky few Soylent green would be voted on above raising taxes on the one percenters.
Unscrupulous and not the brightest diamonds in the vault either. After all, who leaves the decision on whether a man lives or dies on a dog, albeit a Business Dog? As in this book, as in life, we suppose out overlords to be the best of the best, with an intelligence to match. We are often terribly misled in that assumption. But, damn is that Business Dog adorable.
Pugh’s mastery of anatomy, pose and movement brings each character to life, with even the most mundane of scenes lit up with figures full of expression and emotion. His eye for outfitting each character only helps readers’ realise them more fully and more easy to relate to too.
In this issue Russell delivers a plot that involves a great escape, fuelled by the wealth’s own shortcomings, what seems to be a change of mind in one of the peripheral cast members, and, as ever, his well timed, brilliantly aimed satire. They shoot, and they score with this issue once again.
Billionaire Island #4 s out now from AHOY Comics.