Billy the Pyro is a not-so-normal coming of age story. Having to deal with his abusive and troubled past, Billy tries to just get by any way he can. That’s all about to change though as Billy soon finds out that he has been genetically altered by a government research institute called GAPRI (Genetic Alteration and Pyrokinesis Research Institute). Now able to produce and control fire, Billy teams up with GAPRI to help fight and protect those from past experiments gone wrong.
More often than not, having superhuman powers doesn’t always come with a glorious back story. You’re usually just a regular person, dealing with your life as best you can. Then all of a sudden BAM, you can walk through walls or fly. We definitely get an unfortunate history with Billy the Pyro, as the life he struggles through is certainly less than glorious. Only time will tell whether the unexpected change that occurs will make it any better.
The book starts off as an average story of a troubled teen in an abusive household, but rapidly picks up. Billy also just happens to be a pyromaniac on top of all his domestic issues. Throw in a mysterious agency looking guy and the realization that you can create fire, and you have the formula for an interesting first issue. One has to wonder though, was it pyromania all this time or just his powers trying to reveal themselves?
With a story involving superpowers, particularly involving fire, you’d expect the artwork to be strong and vibrant. That’s exactly what we are kindly given in the book, with very clean lineart and bright colors. This is especially true of scenes depicting flames, and in some cases, infernos.
I’ve always enjoyed superhumans and special powers as much as the next fan. Sometimes it just needs a slightly different approach like they’ve done here to draw in the curiosity of the reader. This title shows promise if they keep it up, and should be one to keep your eye on.
For more information on Billy the Pyro, check out Alterna Comics.