Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1: Money Problems

These past few days have been crazy for America. Well, the last few years have been crazy for America. With Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1, Mark Russell and Steve Pugh somehow tap into America’s madness in a single issue. I’m a huge fan of Russell and Pugh’s work on DC Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex which shares many themes with Billionaire Island: Cult of the Dog. One thing that struck me is the way Pugh draws Reuben, Mr. Canto’s carer. There is something so sinister behind his smile. It reminded me a lot of Lex’s peculiar mask in Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex. We’re so used to the bad guy looking like a bad guy, but in reality, Pugh and Russell are perfect with Reuben. He is by far the worst person in this issue and seems to be pulling a lot of the story line. On the other hand, Shelly Bly is an interesting protagonist and seems like the only sane person who sees the craziness of it all.

The first pages of the issue give readers a glimpse of where we are and how we got there. Until 2044, everything Russell tells us is factual. I especially liked the mention of a certain pair of billionaires who raced in space. It seemed a little too easy making the rockets extremely phallic, but that’s what’s so good about this glitch. Nothing is too far-fetched or over the nose, which is terrifying. I don’t know if Mark Russell is a satirist or a clairvoyant. Clearly the entire creative team had a blast with this issue. Rob Steen’s lettering is top notch and does a great job of guiding the reader through the issue, especially with Shelly’s narration. I loved and appreciated the various advertisements and articles that we see on the screens. Chris Chuckry’s coloring complements Pugh’s pencils and inks and does a great job of balancing out the different settings we see in the issue. The commercials I mentioned earlier are a great example of Chuckry’s skills. The screens are front and center but don’t take you away from the rest of what’s going on.

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