Story: David Avallone
Art: Julius Ohta
Colors: Ellie Wright / Sheelagh D
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
What They Say:
Bettie’s next stop on her dimension-hopping quest finds her six inches tall…with gossamer wings. Can one tiny adorable sprite stop the most powerful creatures in the multiverse from throwing it all into chaos and destruction?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With several more issues of the series solicited, Bettie Page: Unbound wraps up its first storyline with this issue and sets an epilogue for the next issue. While I do worry about how many projects Bettie Page can support out there, in Dynamite and David Avallone I trust because I’m having the best time with all the projects. The series continues to be sharply written, figured out the right layer of snark and references and is beautifully illustrated. Julius Ohta deserves so many kudos and, once this series is finished, the pick of projects because everything is just spot on. I love his scene composition with where everything laid out, the page flow itself, and his take on characters makes for some great grounded moments even while they’re flitting about as fairies.
With Bettie having landed in yet another world but without the keys, she finds herself as a little fairy that unlike other fairies in this world can talk. Seeing the creatures of myth and legend here, Cthulhu and all that, she’s grateful that she’s too small to see and that lets her follow them for a bit while trying to figure out a way to get the keys back and close the portal so they can’t bring the end of the universe across all the timelines of existence. Unfortunately, she’s caught by some pirates and taken back to their ship where a kind of Captain Hook type awaits, along with yet another version fo Benway that doesn’t recognize her. It’s a lot of fun watching as Bettie has to navigate all of this and figure out how to not only use them to achieve her goal but understand how to use the magic she now possesses as a fairy.
With a little help from Melyssa as a mermaid that comes to save her, the crafty plan is fairly straightforward but requires a lot of trust on the part of everyone involved. Staging an attack on the leviathans certainly isn’t a smart thing but upon learning that the pirates have been trapped here for centuries, I like that Bettie’s intent on truly helping them because that’s the kind of person she is. Ohta gets to have a lot of fun with a big battle spread over a few pages involving a flying ship, pirates, and R’yleth and all that jazz, all before throwing us back to the real world where about four seconds have passed. It’s a wonderful bit that leaves you wondering just how real it all was but what gets me is that Avallone teases us with that kind of ending but then goes a couple of steps forward to make it clear while teasing what really is potentially coming next. It wasn’t ambiguous to begin with but at the same time he ensures that we get the right kind of ending with a pseudo cliffhanger for the epilogue next issue.
Bettie Page: Unbound has been a blast and with another three or so issues solicited so far there’s more story ahead. This issue wraps up the main storyline that we’ve been running with by going with a little public domain style work for the basis but I’ll admit I had a lot of fun with her taking on the roles she did in the previous installments. There is a lot going on here and the minor epilogue we do get is pretty packed and fun. The main storyline is a real delight, though, as we get to see Bettie going up against some really great beings that have always been interesting to see how they’ll be interpreted by different creative forces. Avallone and Ohta definitely have their own spin on it.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: September 25tht, 2019