Title: Billy the Pyro
Publisher: Alterna Comics
Writer: Brad Burdick
Artist: Fabian Cobos
Purchase Links: Digital
Did you ever feel that going through your teenage years was rough? Imagine that, but then developing super powers that you could not possibly control on your own. Would you accept help from an organization that you do not know? This and much more is what you will find inside Billy the Pyro a new series, currently being published by Alterna Comics, written by Brad Burdick with art from Fabian Cobos.
Billy’s mother died during childbirth and growing up he has been stuck with his abusive father who blames him for his wife’s death. For a reason he is not quite sure, Billy enjoys fire and sees a psychiatrist to work him through his issues. When Billy tries to get his medication, he finds that he has no money which triggers a fight with his father when he gets home. His father tries to get physical with him once more, but Billy flees his home and begins wandering the streets. There he finds an undercover agent for the organization G.A.P.R.I. who tries to tell Billy they want to help. Lashing out, Billy pulls out a lighter and sets the agents coat on fire before running away. The police are alerted to the incident by a bystander and give pursuit. To escape, Billy goes down the wrong alley where he finds trouble that unleashes pyrokinetic powers he never knew he had.
The series has just released its third issue, where you’ll find Billy learning more about his powers, past, and the G.A.P.R.I. (Genetic Alteration and Pyrokinesis Research Institute.) Will he be able to control his powers and the rage he has known from his abusive life?
We were taken by the series immediately. Billy is a fascinating character, one who has had a rougher life than most, but will have to try to put that behind him to become more than he is. A pyromaniac is not typically the most likable, or relatable character, but Burdick goes to great lengths to make us take pity on Billy, and have hope for him on his new path. How can he like the world or trust others when everything to this point has let him down? The story is a great coming of age tale
Cobos pencils are excellent, but definitely shine brightest when showing off Billy’s developing powers with colors from Eddy Swan. They do a great job together to set the atmosphere of each scene. This is especially seen earlier on with the lighting before things start to change with Billy using darker colors, to later on when brighter colors and shades are used when he’s with the G.A.P.R.I.
Billy the Pyro is not the typical beginning to a super hero comic, but the same can be said for the title character. This has much more layers than many books you’ll find on the shelves and plenty of fun to spare. Currently you can pick the series up on Comixology at the link provided above. To get a taste of the series, we were provided the first five pages from issue #1 which you can see below. Now get to burning, err, reading!