Fee, Fi, Fo, Fun – Reviewing ‘Billionaire Island: Cult Of Dogs’ #3
by Olly MacNamee
Another satirical swipe at Emperors and their new clothes with one of this issue’s targets being a deserved one at that. ‘Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs’ #3 continues to entertain with both the satire and story as reporter Shelly Bly seems to forever stepping into danger in a world gone to pot with very few places left to turn.
Writer Mark Russell and artist Steve Pugh continue to take well deserved pot shots at the self-appointed sacred cows of the modern era with much mirth in Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #3. And with a level of satire so topical and up-to-date, you’d think they were still putting the final touches to this issue as it’s rushed to the printers. For example, in this latest issue we get Elon Musk’s desperate measures to rinse some kind of profit out of Twitter set in the creators’ sights, with a level of derision it rightly deserves. As you’d expect from Russell and Pugh. But, beneath this customary comedy lies a darker tale of corruption and greed as Business Dog is still being hunted down for nefarious machinations.
In-between both these narrative styles is our voice of sanity, journalist Shelly Bly. One of the few characters deservedly presented as more grounded in reality by artist Pugh that others in this series. And an interesting new take on Jack and the Beanstalk too, that will see you show a good deal of sympathy with the big guy at the top of the tree. Well, beanstalk, anyway.
As the issue progresses a darker tone takes hold as Shelly Bly, our roving reporter (literally!) seems to step from one potential danger after another, all magnifying a dark corner of the American psyche through exaggerations. But, still close enough to the bone that the laughs covering the inconvenient truths are close enough to the truths many of us left-thinking individuals fear.
The ignorance-fuelled persecution prevalent in this issue is warning enough, but the new take on an ancient tale also serves up its own modern day moral. Much like fairy tales of yesteryear also spoke truths to the people too. Therein being a somewhat appropriate narrative style to appropriate for this issue, I must say.
As ever, Pugh skilfully plays with the presentation of multiple characters just stopping short of caricature, and seems to be having great fun in this issue with his own take on the far, far away kingdom giants, golden geese and the fairylands they live in.
One part mortality tale, but with another part social satire at its best, this is a comic book that doesn’t take itself too seriously and knows its readership well enough to know we’re all laughing together.
Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #3 is out now from AHOY Comics