Story: Karla Pacheco
Art: Vincenzo Frederici
Colors: Rebecca Nalty
Letterer: Becca Carey
What They Say:
Stunning starlet Bettie Page has signed on to a new “tastefully sensual” fantasy film, shooting on a secluded tropical island. But when one of her cast members is MURDERED, everyone on the island is a suspect! WHO is the killer? WHAT is the film’s producer hiding? HOW do they get off the island? You’ll have to read to discover WHODUNNIT…!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I’m still surprised that we’ve had as much Bettie Page material over the last few years as we’ve had and that it’s been as engaging and enjoyable as it has been. The property makes a creative change with this new series as Karla Pacheco takes over the writing duties and starts anew across the board with Bettie. She’s joined by artist Vincenzo Frederici, who captures the expressiveness well and the location for this wonderfully, with Rebecca Nalty bringing it to life with gorgeous color design work throughout. It’s a great team that has a lot going for it and the results are clearly on the page, even if I have to be honest that it’s going to take me a couple of issues to adjust to this new incarnation of Bettie after bonding with the previous one.
The story here takes us to the Caribbean island of Saint Gorda where Bettie has arrived with her small entourage as she’s gotten a sizable role in a film being produced there. The project has actually leased the entire island in order to have complete control but there are some complications with that which comes into play later. Unfortunately for Bettie, her arrival with Pal and her producer/agent Stevie is marred by the discovery that Bettie has lost the role to Lucy Gardner, an up and coming fellow actress that’s fairly cutthroat in handling the studio system and getting what she wants. With her agent having an in with the producers, that’s swung her the part and she’s lording that over Bettie, who while frustrated and saddened by the loss of a potential breakthrough role is holding up well and tackling her new smaller part to the best of her abilities.
Everything is upended when one of those involved in the production, Clive, ends up dead and the local cops start taking over with an investigation. Lucy’s bodyguard is a former L.A. detective himself and starts to get involved in all of this and there’s a lot of push and pull between the studio folks and the local cops as it all starts to unfold and everyone tries to get an upperhand. Especially upon learning that the lease for the island isn’t what was thought and there’s a lot of tossing around the cursed word by people with this death. It moves in a busy way and we see how the knives are out in assigning blame or trying to figure out how to take advantage before the whole production goes down in flames. It goes a little big but what do you expect when the film production brought in full-sized elephants to an island like this? At least Bettie gets along with them.
I know it’ll take me a few issues to get into the groove of the series because of all that I’ve read prior but Karla Pacheco is off to a solid start here in presenting this version of the character. I could use a little more time in fleshing out her entourage just a bit but the whole fantasy movie filming on an island with a slightly extravagant cast of characters is an easy start that lets all the talent shine nicely. The scripting is smooth, the artwork is great, it’s got the right color design, and it’s a good bit of fun throughout that hits the right notes. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where this story goes and what Pacheco has in store for Bettie and the gang.