ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Bettie Page,’ Issue #1 – The Princess and the Pin-Up

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bettie Page #1

Bettie Page was a pin-up model and pop culture icon who pioneered a lot of the retro style we know today. She was one of the first Playmates of the Month for Playboy Magazine. Within comics, Page’s character has been gracing the panels since the 1980s with Dave Stevens’ run on The Rocketeer. Recently, Page returned to comics, with publisher Dynamite Comics, in 2017 with writer David Avallone’s Dynamite Entertainment series, Bettie Page.  Now, Bettie Page is back again with writer David Avallone as well as artist Julius Ohta, colorist Ellie Wright, and letterer Taylor Esposito in Bettie Page #1.

The titular character Bettie Page is back on a new adventure in “The Princess and the Pin-Up” as a spy helping the British Intelligence track down the missing Queen of England. Previously, Bettie stopped a UFO but sequentially making her the key intelligence agent equipped to handle a similar alien aircraft that abducted the Queen and knocked out most of her royal guard. The story is a modern take on “The Prince and the Pauper” but with a retro look. Similar to the original tale, Bettie in later issues ends up impersonating Elizabeth the Second. The book opens with a dream sequence alluding to Bettie’s past escapades hunting an alien artifact and take down Soviet spies in David Avallone previous run on the book.

As a new reader to the franchise, I was worried about jumping in even on a number one issue. However, this issue was wild fun and doesn’t require any knowledge of previous iterations of the character. Betty Page is a refreshing and kooky take on the spy drama genre. Betty’s character is spunky, feminine, and has a wardrobe I would take down a UFO for.

Ohta’s art keeps Bettie sexy without losing her professional style. I appreciate the nods to Bettie pin-up origins from her classic bangs, bright blue eyes, and thick cat eyeliner. Additionally, Wright’s colors leap off the page particularly with panels featuring the extraterrestrial spacecrafts. This book is a callback to the bizarre but ultimately fun sci-fi stories of 1960s retro-futurism.

Bettie Page #1 offers a large selection of cover variants including a photo cover of the original Bettie Page. Dynamite Entertainment and this creative team’s commitment to keeping the history of the character fresh in the minds of fans new and old is commendable. Bettie Page plays an important role in pin-up and fashion history and has solidified herself as an American icon. Without her classic look, a lot of performers from Katy Petty to Dita Von Teese own styles would not exist. Additionally, her style heavily influenced comics and comic art so seeing her legacy live on it important.

Overall, I am excited for what’s next for Bettie as she takes on alien invasions and the top-secret spy world. Furthermore, this issue has me interested in picking up Avallone’s previous run as well as Stevens’ The Rocketeer which is really all you can ask for from a comic book.

Bettie Page #1 is available in comic book shops everywhere.


Bettie Page #1
5

TL:DR

This issue was wild fun and doesn’t require any knowledge of previous iterations of the character. Ohta’s art keeps Bettie sexy without losing her professional style. Betty Page is a refreshing and kooky take on the spy drama genre.