If you’ve been following Billy The Kid’s Oldtime Oddities, by now you should know what to expect in issue #3. It’s a wacky adventure that lacks any gravity whatsoever, but has a unique and entertaining take on pop mythology and horror conventions. The art is solid, the story is fun, and that’s about it. What makes issue #3 unique is the presence of – or the attempt at – gravity and loss. Ultimately this attempt falls flat, and it highlights some of the weaknesses of the book. SPOILERS AHEAD.
WRITTEN BY: Eric Powell with Tracy Marsh
ART BY: Kyle Hotz
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE DATE: December 12th, 2012
I’m not going to beat around the bush here; Sproule, Billy’s most mature, thoughtful companion, dies. He’s stabbed to death by Dracula’s brides/fish monsters. And when you read this, you probably won’t really care. That’s because “Billy The Kid” lacks the sense of meaning or seriousness necessary for you to care about any of the characters. The story itself is amusing, campy and fun to follow along to. Death in this series isn’t capable of conveying a sense of consequence so much as it is just a device to drive the plot forward, or to motivate characters who – frankly – don’t require much motivation.
Beyond that, this issue is standard fare. The pace is quick, the writing has a couple of funny quips, and the art is solid, moody and foreboding. But it’s beginning to get a little stale. I understand it’s not reasonable to expect more from this series than what it’s already offered, but that doesn’t mean it’s justifiable.
“Billy The Kid” works best when it’s just fun and games. When it tries to be something more than that, it exposes its flaws rather than addresses them. Coupled with the relative stagnancy of the series itself, there just seems to be less in this issue than in the others. This arc wraps up in the next issue, so maybe things will take a different turn soon enough.
Reviewed by -GeorgeShunick
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