Billy The Kid’s Old Timey Oddities continues with the first issue of “The Orm of Loch Ness”. It’s a new arc that sees Billy and company hot on the trail of their captured associate Callahan, who’s being taken to – you guessed it – Loch Ness. It’s a largely uneventful issue, but it manages to engage in some brief exposition, moves along at a brisk pace, and is enjoyable throughout. The end has a delightfully absurd twist that will ensure readers will be nothing if not curious to see where the story goes from here.
WRITTEN BY: Eric Powell
ART BY: Kyle Hotz
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE DATE: October 17th, 2012
I must confess that I have just begun this book, and so am unfamiliar with most of the characters and backstory. That said, while I don’t know how the characters got in the positions that they’re in, it was a fairly easy issue for a new reader to begin with. Callahan, a half-lizard half-man creature, has been captured by a villain who makes Two-Face look positively handsome by comparison, and has been take to Loch Ness for… well, who knows why. It’s not important. What is important is Billy the Kid and his motley crew are right on their trail. They get a history lesson on the origins of the Loch Ness monster, which they presume they will encounter, and this all pretty much sets up things for the arc.
Eric Powell’s script isn’t exactly a tour de force of character moments, or a particularly compelling narrative. But it is an enjoyable one. It doesn’t aspire to be anything beyond entertaining, and to that end it succeeds. The story moves along quickly, and the dialogue is effective, if not particularly memorable. The most important parts are exposition, regarding the history of the monster. As for the monster itself, I was a bit surprised by the end reveal, and it fits in with the absurd tone of the book.
Speaking of absurd, Kyle Hotz’ artwork is appropriately bizarre, demented, and a bit grotesque. That isn’t to say that it’s full of gore. Rather, his objects are distorted and his bodies are misshapen. You won’t find any Jim Lee-esque Hercules look-alikes with the posture of Marines here. His backgrounds are dark and his shadows are deep, fitting the horror elements of the story. Hotz is also capable of setting the mood and telling the story well; it’s impossible to misunderstand any of his scenes.
“Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities” #1 is a solid comic book that shows promise for a larger arc. While this issue is good and not great, it is a highly enjoyably twisted read with some talented moody artwork.
Reviewed by – George Shunick