Last week Dynamite released issue #2 of Bettie Page Unbound which is a crossover of sorts with Vampirella. To be more precise, it features Bettie Page in a dimension-hopping adventure that finds her taking on the role of Vampirella. You’ll want to read the first issue too to see how Bettie ended up like this. The series is written by David Avallone with art by Julius Ohta, colors by Ellie Wright and Sheelagh D, and letters by Taylor Esposito.
The premise of this series goes something like this: Bettie is trying to collect five Eternal Keys in an effort to stop the Great Old Ones, a group of god-like alien beings, from destroying Earth. In order to do this, she has to travel to other dimensions where she finds herself taking on the mantles of various Dynamite characters. I really like the way this has been handled so far. Only the reader recognizes that Bettie is Red Sonja, or Vampirella, or Dejah Thoris, etc. She’s completely bewildered by it and has no knowledge of these characters. In fact, their names aren’t even mentioned. She’s just Bettie Page, but now she has fangs, super strength and a new outfit.
After hopping to another dimension at the end of the first issue, Vampirella finds herself on the planet Vampiron which is a whole lot like Drakulon, complete with rivers of blood. Bettie quickly realizes that she has changed and now thirsts for blood. After being captured by some bad guys, she manages to escape and battle her way out of their hideout using her new abilities and a stolen blaster. She eventually obtains the key and warps to the next dimension where she finds herself dressed like Dejah Thoris, which sets up the next issue.
What I loved the most about this comic was the way it squeezed in so many elements of the Vampirella comics. It had lightheated moments that felt like the very early Warren stories, it had horror, it had a lot of science fiction, it had action and all of it was fun. The costume design was excellent – it is not an exact copy of Vampirella’s costume, but rather inspired by it. Of all of the Vampirella costume redesigns we’ve seen, this one is without a doubt the best one in my opinion. I would love to see this show up sometime in a mainstream Vampirella book. You can take a look at it in the images below (the second one is actually from the last page of issue #1).
I also have to mention the work done by the art team on this book. The visuals are wonderful throughout. The very first page has a beautiful shot of Bettie looking out over the alien planet. There are also several panels that feel like a call-back to iconic shots of Vampirella from the past. I don’t know if this was intentional or not but it really worked for me.
Do check out this book if you get a chance and grab the first issue and the upcoming ones as well. I’m sure the fun will continue right to the end! If you’ve read this one, let me know what you thought of it!