By Dustin Cabeal
After a lackluster first issue, I decided to give this series another shot. Unfortunately, it’ll be the last shot I give it. It’s not a bad comic. I’m not quitting it because the story is awful or because the artwork is unenjoyable. It’s just a boring comic book.
The problem may lie behind the scenes because it feels as if the creators are being held back from going crazy with the story. Instead, they’re trying to sell the brand of Bettie Page rather than offer any real insight into her as a person or just full dive into her comic persona. Which is strange because the plot line is clearly fictional with historical truths sprinkled in and could easily be one of those “this is the real truth” type of stories. It is somewhat going for that, but not succeeding in the least.
The issue itself sees Bettie become an actress for a B movie. She serves a mother fucker for getting hands on with her, and that’s about the only good thing to come from this scene. It all somehow twists and turns back into the other storyline, and while it works, it does seem convenient that Bettie would end up involved with the crazy cult while working in a completely different field.
The artwork is good, but at times it struggles between wanting to capture Page’s real look and then the comic book character version of her. The comic version ends up with more page time in the end. The details are also constantly dropping in and out. Some pages are beautiful and realistic looking while others are just in-between panels without much substance. I will give it full credit for looking modern while capturing the era quite nicely.
The setting is great for this story. The golden age of Hollywood, with Bettie Page. The setting isn’t being utilized though. It doesn’t feel like we’re back in Hollywood, but instead just seeing vague mentions of it. It could have been like the second season of Agent Carter, but without having to rely on busted sets and parking lots to see the era. The sci-fi cult element could be amazing. It could have made this story Bettie Page as Indiana Jones with sci-fi… But it’s not. It's restrained, underdeveloped and so intentionally vague that’s it un-interesting.
The story and art are on this cusp of being something really special, but they continue to be held back for whatever reason. Until then it’ll remain a safe and sound story, but not one that’s particularly fun to read. It has everything in place to make it exciting and adventurous, but instead, it’s just boring and dull… Which seems the opposite of Bettie Page.
Bettie Page #2
Writer: David Avallone
Artist: Colton Worley & Craig Cermak
Colorist: Brittany Pezzillo
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment