Bettie Page #4 – Review
Things get a little ahead of you when you have a lot going on. I first read Bettie Page #4 a week ago and intended to write up a review of it, but other things got in the way. This week, I was going through the new releases, trying to see what I want to review and noticed this book. I decided that I have to make this the first comic this week that I needed to review.
Bettie Page #4
writer: David Avallone
artist: Julius Oht
covers: John Royle (A), Scott Chantler (B), David Williams (C), Julius Ohta (D), Photo Cover (E), Photo Cover (RI-Virg), David Williams (RI-BW), Scott Chantler (RI-Virg), Julius Ohta (RI-BW), David Williams (RI-Virg)
FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen+
Flying saucers in the sky, treason on the ground, and only two brave young women can save the world from invasion and domination. Lucky for us those two women are the Queen of Pin-ups and the Queen of England! If you thought DOWNTON ABBEY was great but needed more extraterrestrials (and who didn’t?), you’ll want to read the fourth chapter of this Bettie Page adventure, brought to you by David Avallone (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Twilight Zone: The Shadow) and Julius Ohta (Sherlock Holmes).
You’re going to be very disappointed if you’re buying this comic for Bettie Page cheesecake. Not only does Bettie Page keep her clothes on, but she is in command of a crisis situation and shows herself to be a capable secret agent. The mystery of Bettie Page lends her to be in stories this fantastic. I worry that the girly mag reputation of Bettie Page will disappoint too many readers. David Avallone structures the basic story very well here. However, it lends itself more to a graphic novel rather than a monthly comic book series. It’s a common problem in modern comic series.
Too many comic book stories are staged as four (or more) issue arcs. This makes for a good beginning, middle and end, but often leaves issue breaks that seem better served for a continuous story. It also doesn’t often leave room for subplot development. That’s not to say that David Avallone is a bad writer. He’s a very good writer. I believeit may be better to read this story all at once. This just means that being broken up into four parts makes the parts lesser than the whole.
I do really like the bits of humor that Avallone puts into the story. For a character like Bettie Page, I wish they were a little cheekier. What I really appreciate is something reflective of what editorial forces at Dynamite seem to be doing. They are taking female characters that were little more than cheesecake and making them strong female protagonists. Unfortunately, marketing still promotes the more iconic versions of Vampirella, Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris and Bettie Page. Three of the five covers for this issue alone have Bettie in a state of undress. Like I mentioned, she is revealing very little skin in this story.
That brings me to Julius Oht’s artwork, and it’s very solid. His likenesses are dead on, and he does a great job of making two black-haired ladies in a scene together look entirely separate. He stages a scene very well with shifting camera angles. You can visualize where the players are. The storytelling is exceptional. Aside from a preference of style, I don’t see how anyone can have a fault with it.
Final Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)