[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Bettie Page has found herself in chainmail and wielding a sword against a cosmic horror from beyond our dimension. How did she get there? Well, she was pulled into another dimension last Halloween, and she has spent the time since gathering keys that will keep said cosmic horrors in their own dimension. While studying one of the keys she has, Nyarlathotep breached the barrier into New York, and Bettie Page dove into the portal, which has brought her to a world where she is in said chainmail and wielding said sword.
Bettie Page Unbound #1 begins our hero’s journey across dimensions to stop the cosmic horrors from another realm whom want to invade Earth.
To put it another way, Bettie Page is hopping dimensions, and this is the Red Sonja dimension. Presumably, other IP’s Dynamite can use will follow.
That’s a glib assessment, I know. This is actually my first experience with a Bettie Page comic, and I kind of expected it to be like this from the cover and Dynamite’s propensity for crossovers.
With all this considered, how is Bettie Page Unbound? It’s not bad, but I can’t say it was especially enjoyable either.
I know that Bettie Page has often been a cheesecake character, and this comic at least gives her an adventure with agency. The cheesecake is still there, and, well, that’s not really why I read a comic. So, it doesn’t really do anything for me. I’m not against such comics existing though.
So, the comic riffs a bit on Red Sonja, and it gives a charming send-up to writer Gail Simone. It’s not miserable, and Bettie Page’s personality is pretty fun. The main thing weighing the comic down is how pleased it is with itself and a very shallow usage of Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones.
Julius Ohta’s artwork is quite good, and it makes the leap from 1950’s urban metropolis to swords and sorcery wasteland quite well. Page herself is an expressive character, and Ohta plays with that well. Ellie Wright’s color art and Sheelagh D’s flatting serves the comic quite well too, though a little more wildness in the coloring would have been appreciated.
Bettie Page Unbound #1 is an okay adventure starring the long-lived character. It has some fun with the Red Sonja formula and makes some decent jokes. I can’t say I was entranced, but it’s not an awful read either. If Bettie Page is your jam, then you’ll probably find something to enjoy.
Bettie Page Unbound #1 comes to us from writer David Avallone, artist Julius Ohta, color artist Ellie Wright, color flatter Sheelagh D, letterer Taylor Esposito, cover artist John Royle with Mohan, variant cover artists Scott Chantler; David Williams with Kelsey Shannon; and Julius Ohta.
Final Score: 6/10