In the second issue of this pulp style story, elements of the screen icon that Bettie will be begins to peep through as she starts to make ground in her film career. However, the best laid plans of mice and wannabe film starlets and all that means not everything is a seems.
The premise of the book seems a little lightweight, with most of the book, and to be fair, the last issue are built upon coincidence and contrivance. This may well be the vibe that writer David Avallone is aiming for, which to he kind of achieves.
David Avallone is using the “discovery of a secret diary” to give us these previously untold stories. For me, there are a couple of problems with the book, none of which can be laid at the feet of those involved. Avallone tries really hard to capture a sense of pulp in Bettie’s story. Yet for an actress that was known for her risqué pin-ups and suggestive bondage films, these aspects are barely covered. What you get is an action gal type of story which we have seen already done with great skill in the adventures of The Rocketeer. The irony here of course is that Cliff Secord’s girlfriend, Betty, is based on Bettie Page!
The art is brought you by Colton Worley and Craig Cermak with the pair continuing to do their best to work within Bettie’s familiar bangs. The art has a simple style, with easy lines that are meant to show a simpler time. For the most part it works, even if at times, Bettie looks a tad inconsistent. Things get a little more crowded the car chase, before delivering a climax that for some reason uses heavier inks and even less character recognition. The colors work well enough, keeping with the overall theme of the book, but again could be more consistent.
I am not sure to whom this book is aimed. Is there enough of the cheesecake elements to entice true Bettie fans? Is the character in the book even recognisable as Bettie Page? Why even bother with this book when her facsimile in Betty from The Rocketeer covers pretty much the same ground with more style and flair? If you can answer any of these questions with a positive answer, then this book is for you. Enjoy, as I am not sure that I did.
Writing – 3 Stars
Art – 2.5 Stars
Colors -3 Stars
Written by; David Avallone
Art by; Colton Worley and Craig Cermak
Published by; Dynamite Entertainment