The world is falling apart. Climate change is decimating the planet, but the good news is that at least the filthy rich have a place to relax as the apocalypse plays out. Your Major Spoilers review of Billionaire Island #1 from Ahoy Comics awaits!
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Steve Pugh
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Rob Steen
Editor: Sarah Litt
Publisher: Ahoy! Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 4th, 2020
Previously in Billionaire Island: Welcome to Billionaire Island, where anything goes…if you can afford it. But the island’s ultra-rich inhabitants are about to learn that their ill-gotten gains come at a very high price.
Billionaire Island #1 starts up in Florida circa 2044. An ad for Freedom Unlimited Island plays out featuring the super rich owner of Agrocorp, Rick Santo. He promises a tax free, refugee free, carnal pleasure filled island for the super wealthy who have been inconvenienced by the effects of climate change. Elsewhere a high ranking executive for the food company is tied up in his bed with a man demanding information. It’s revealed that Agrocorp has been experimenting with sterilization via food on poor populations in Angola. What they didn’t know was that certain people react to the sterilization drugs poorly and become terminally ill, including the man’s family. Things then cut over to Rick Santo who’s being interviewed by a newspaper reporter. When she mentions Angola, he invites her to Freedom Unlimited Island. Once there she’s promptly thrown into a literal hamster cage with others who have crossed Rick. As they discuss their situation, the man from earlier prepares to find his way to Freedom Unlimited Island, with lots of ammo.
Conflicting Tones and Cartoonish Characters
Coming into a book called Billionaire Island, there’s a certain amount of sarcasm and poking fun at capitalism, to be expected and there’s plenty of that here. Surprisingly it’s not quite as mean spirited as I expected it to be, but there’s no getting around it, the depictions of the various rich people and corporate cogs is downright ridiculous. From the ambitious exec who is convinced that her time in the hamster cage is a management training program, to Rick Santo who proudly boasts about turning refugees away from F.U. Island via drones, Billionaire Island #1 has its fair share of caricatures, unfortunately they’re not very interesting and kind of lazy. What’s more jarring though is the switch between what appears to be the protagonist of this story and the things happening on F.U. Island. His story is rather serious and is treated as such, while everything happening on the island is cartoonish and these two tones don’t match up well or conflict each other in an interesting way.
Bottom Line: Just Another “RIch and Powerful People Suck” Book
The most damning thing about Billionaire Island #1 is it’s complete lack of effort in trying to differentiate itself from other books like this. As strange as this sounds, the ultra-rich are an easy target and there’s no real attempt to give them any depth here, they’re just simply irredeemably bad, which makes this a rather boring book to read. 1.5 out of 5
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Billionaire Island #1
I imagine there will be someone out there who enjoys Billionaire’s Island #1. Also, there’s always a chance that the series will improve as it goes. But, there’s just not much to enjoy here in the first issue.