REVIEW: ‘Bettie Page: Unbound,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bettie Page: Unbound #1 is published by Dynamite Entertainment, written by David Avallone, with art by Julius Ohta, colors by Ellie Wright, color flats by Sheelagh D, and letters by Taylor Esposito. The issue starts a brand new adventure for the model turned government spy who previously was chasing down UFOs for the Queen of England.  The beginning pages of the issue catch readers up on the previous story as Bettie reports back to her boss, Captain McKnight. Bettie tells McKnight about the key she now possesses and the “event” that she forewarned about by the “Not-So-Little Green Man” and Nessie the Lochness monster.

But when a tear opens in the sky, Bettie jumps through the portal hoping to stop the impending doom with the key she received. However, Bettie finds herself in a chainmail bikini and a world she does not recognize. Determined to find the rest of the keys, Bettie trends through this bizarre and daunting new world. On her quest, she encounters a few foes and embodies some familiar faces in Dynamite Comics’ lore.

If you thought Bettie Page’s last adventure was kooky, wait until you get a load of this. Bettie Page: Unbound #1 is off the wall and over the top fun. While the beginning exposition can feel redundant, it doesn’t last long enough to slow the pacing of the issue. Bettie Page: Unbound #1 jumps right into the action seeing Bettie traversing through Red Sonja’s world. While we don’t the titular redhead, it is clear Bettie has taken on her persona, if only for the moment, during her quest.

Recently, Dynamite Comics has done quite a few crossovers with their classic leading ladies including, Barbarella/Dejah Thoris #1 and more recently, Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #1. However, Bettie Page: Unbound #1 switches it up a bit showing Bettie in the world we know and love of Red Sonja, without her meeting the famed character. While not outright explained, Bettie does mention that in whatever persona she has taken on, she feels confident in the world. This also explains why she fights like a skilled swordsman despite that not usually being Bettie’s weapon of choice, or never really had been her weapon of choice.

Avallone’s script is whimsical and fun. Bettie Page: Unbound #1 is one of the more light-hearted books on my pull list and it is much appreciated. The book leans into it’s more campy elements, not afraid to shy away from its ridiculous concept. But despite the zaniness of the script and story itself, Ohta’s art is breathtaking.

Bettie, even in her wildly different get-up, looks like the classic Bettie Page I have come to love on the panels. Ohta, with the help of Wright’s colors and Sheelagh D’s color flats, utilizes thick brushstrokes to create Bettie’s signature look. Bettie’s eyeliner is something most girls, myself included, dream about doing. Seeing make-up accurately and beautifully portrayed in comics can sometimes be a rarity but here, it is Instagram worthy.

Overall, Bettie Page: Unbound #1 brings the character’s kooky story to other worlds. The book has enough exposition at the start that new readers can easily jump on board. Fans of the previous Bettie Page runs and the current trend of Dynamite Comics crossovers should absolutely grab this issue. Additionally, if you are looking for a light-hearted good time pick this one up and add it to your pull list today.

Bettie Page: Unbound #1
5

TL;DR

Overall, Bettie Page: Unbound #1 brings the character’s kooky story to other worlds. The book has enough exposition at the start that new readers can easily jump on board. Fans of the previous Bettie Page runs and the current trend of Dynamite Comics crossovers should absolutely grab this issue.