REVIEW: ‘Beta Ray Bill,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Beta Ray Bill #3

Beta Ray Bill #3 is published by Marvel Comics, with writing and art by Daniel Warren Johnson, colors by Mike Spicer, and letters by Joe Sabino. Bill has ventured into Muspelheim to replace his broken hammer, Stormbreaker, with Surtur’s sword, Twilight.

Previously, Beta Ray Bill, with the assistance of a resurrected Skurge, and Pip traveled across the cosmos to seek out information from the once all-powerful all-father, Odin. He proclaims that there is a weapon powerful enough for Bill to wield. It is, however, located in the depths of Muspelheim, the realm of fire. Down beneath various horrifying levels, Bill will find Surtur’s sword, Twilight.

Where things got really interesting, however, is during the final pages of the issue, it’s revealed that when the Skuttlebutt ship entered the new dimension, the A.I. changed the programming, and the ship became an android. Now the ship must contend with a new member in their crew, fight off legions of beasts, and dive further into the core of the fire realm.

Johnson continues to keep this series really interesting by working in some fascinating, unexpected developments in the plot. Now that Skuttlebutt has manifested a body and seems capable of sentient thought, the author dives into the philosophical topic of life and what it means to have experiences and be alive.

On top of this metaphysical and philosophical question, Johnson also crafted a fair amount of visual action and intensity. As the minions of Muspelheim lay siege on the incoming craft, the potency of the tension is dialed up a notch when the ship has to contend with the excess heat of the lava.

To top things off, there is another ping pong scene, huzzah!

Johnson’s story and art lend itself soooo well to this character and his quest. Aided by the excellent coloring from Spicer, the chaotic imagery continues to elevate the plot. The action sequences look spectacular as well, with multiple points of detail to savor. What’s interesting, however, with so much going on, the page or the panel never feels too overcrowded. Johnson strikes that balance so well.

Spicer does a great at separating the imagery, where you have a realm of fire with lots of oranges and red; the ship and the characters aren’t faded back nor pop more than they need to.

The lettering from Sabino continues to set the bar for how pivotal and engaging onomatopoeia can be to a story. While the author typically sets the wording of the onomatopoeia, Sabino covers the design and positional layout, and my word, it’s so eye-catching. This series sets the example for how lettering can serve to elevate the art of a series and really reinforce the story from the author.

Overall, Beta Ray Bill continues to be such an exciting and visually exhilarating series. Johnson and his creative team have created a compelling storyline out of a character that hasn’t been explored enough. Fans of cosmic quests, demons, and fire realms, and electrifying plot points, this is the series for you.

Beta Ray Bill #3 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Beta Ray Bill #3
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Beta Ray Bill continues to be such an exciting and visually exhilarating series. Johnson and his creative team have created a compelling storyline out of a character that hasn’t been explored enough. Fans of cosmic quests, demons, and fire realms, and electrifying plot points, this is the series for you.