Story: David Avallone
Art: Julius Ohta
Colors: Ellie Wright / Sheelagh D
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
What They Say:
It’s almost 1953, and Americans are afraid. There are flying saucers in the sky, a Commie spy under every bed…and something even more dangerous might be attacking America…from within! It’s up to Model Agent Bettie Page to find out what it is…and stop it. A new storyline begins with…the Invasion of the Bettie Snatchers!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With the previous storyline wrapped up and a very fun epilogue installment after that, Bettie Page gets ready for her next arc and I’m already excited. David Avallone is playing in a pretty fertile period in terms of story concepts to work with and latching onto a kind of Body Snatchers storyline is definitely in line with what we’ve seen overall from the work. With some amusing bits already, things are setting into place perfectly. We’ve also got Julius Ohta back, taking advantage of that epilogue break with a guest artist in order to delve into more beautiful pages and artwork in general. This series makes out with some of the best covers and variants but the interiors are just as stunning the majority of the time with how Ohta brings Bettie to life.
With it the day before Thanksgiving, everything has settled down at the office that Bettie and McKnight work out of, which is why it goes badly quickly. The arrival of an air force colonel who says that the next evolution can’t be stopped and tries to kill McKnight makes clear something is wrong. Even more so when the colonel throws himself out the window for failing to achieve his goal. For Bettie, she gets pushed to the side even after helping significantly as McKnight is shutting down this made office until he can figure out what’s going on. Realistically, he should have kept her fully in the loop but his version of protecting her is rooted in the time too well. Bettie at least gets a little downtime and enjoys thanksgiving with Lyssa and her parents, discovering her father was something of a spy himself some time ago as he keeps it secret from his daughter. It’s a nice sequence overall and puts us into a good place with knowing a little more about Lyssa.
It’s no surprise, however, that Bettie is being watched and followed and that she’s aware of it because she’s really taken to this role. Which is why she’s so furious with McKnight, who has sent her and Lyssa a notice that they’re done and Bettie should go back to her prior life. That just gets her to do the thing he doesn’t want her to do and before long she’s right back at the home office looking for him and for answers. But she’s surrounded instead by the people replaced by a cult going on about the next evolution and introducing her to a massive new chamber that’s been hollowed out beneath the facility. Suffice to say, we may not get a lot of hard meat here to dig into with what’s going on but the scale ramps up nicely and the nod toward body Snatchers makes it easy to fill in the blanks.
With a gorgeous cover and a fun setup to everything, Bettie Page: Unbound gets its next arc underway with ease. It’s easy to read into it a bit by some of the selling points but the fun is certainly there in the campy 50s era material that populated a lot of projects as fears of Communism rose significantly and loss of a way or life lead people to darkly dangerous ways to combat it. Bettie’s on the outside with all of this and while she does some silly stuff herself, such as keeping Lyssa at too much of a distance, we’re going to see her doing what she does best in figuring out the scam that’s being worked. Avallone has her moving in a really good direction once again and with more pages from Ohta in our future, I’m just excited to see what’s to come.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 27th, 2019