I know all the cool kids are at San Diego Comic Con but little ol’ me is stuck at home in Canada so I though I’d review a few comics while I wait for all the cool SDCC news myself. First on the pile is the return of Bettie Page. Bettie’s adventures have been told in comic form before. Dark Horse published a few comics featuring Bettie as did a few other publishers. Now it appears to be Dynamite’s turn.
Bettie Page, wow. Did I ever fall for this lady in the 80’s. I was first introduced to Bettie Page through Dave Stevens’ art on the Rocketeer in the first issue of Pacific Presents. I was mesmerized, captivated and left wanting more. Of course, this was pre-Internet so finding information on Bettie Page was not as easy as saying “Hello Google”. I scoured comic shops for the Rocketeer’s first appearances in the Starslayer comic and in doing so I found a copy of The Betty Pages #4 digest at the Silver Snail comic shop in Toronto, Canada. An entire digest of photos, articles, and information about Bettie Page from the number one Bettie fan, Greg Theakston! More, I needed more. Who was this brunette bombshell and why was I so drawn to her? That is a much larger question as scores of people, men and women alike, felt the same exotic allure for this icon of 1950’s pinup culture.
In Dynamite’s Bettie Page #1 we are introduced to the fictional concept that Bettie dropped out of modelling back in the late 50’s because she became an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Totally makes sense to turn Bettie into a mysterious FBI undercover agent. The comic’s introduction page furthers this fictional narrative by stating that writer David Avallone is adapting Bettie’s diary where she chronicled her Bureau adventures. And with a cliff-hanger revealing the next issues’ title, Invasion of the Space Commies, you quickly see that the focus of the series will be on fun intrigue and adventure. The first issue takes us through the beginning of Bettie’s reluctant recruitment by Agent Rick Chaplain, or is that his undercover alias, we don’t know yet as writer David Avallone is doing a great job of pacing out the story concept and not reveling too much in issue #1.
The art from Colton Worley is digitally painted with almost all shading and definition being added with colour. His linework is at times a bit sketchy and trying to recreate Bettie’s likeness produces a few awkward panels but overall the book looks good. Featuring a bevy of variant covers from Terry and Rachel Dodson, Joseph Michael Linsner, Scott Chantler and Colton Worley you definitely have a choice on which copy to collect. There are even some great photo covers.
To me, the concept is great. Definitely interested in exploring this alternative take on Bettie’s missing years. I’ll be picking up Issue #2 at my Local Comic Shop.
Issue: Bettie Page #1 | Publisher: Dynamite
Writer: David Avallone | Artist: Colton Worley
Letters: Taylor Esposito | Editor: Joseph Rybandt