Tuesday, February 28, 2023

#IReadsYou Review: BETTIE PAGE and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5 #5


STORY: Stephen Mooney
ART: Jethro Morales
COLORS: Dinei Ribero
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Marat Mychaels
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joseph Michael Linsner; Stephen Mooney; Leslie Leirix; Marat Mychaels; Rachel Hollon (cosplay); Bettie Page (vintage photo)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (October 2021)

Rated Teen+

Bettie Page (1923–2008) was an American model who gained notoriety in the 1950s for her pin-up photos.  She is still referred to has the “Queen of Pinups,” and her shoulder-to-armpit-length jet-black hair with its trademark bangs and her blue eyes have inspired generations of artists, illustrators and comic book artists.

In 2017, Dynamite Entertainment made Bettie Page the star of her own comic book miniseries.  The latest is Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee.  It is written by Stephen Mooney; drawn by Jethro Morales; colored by Dinei Ribero; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.  In this series, Bettie, a freelance agent for the federal government and something of a monster hunter, and her partner, Lyssa Druke, travel to rural Ireland to investigate a series of murders supposedly perpetrated by a mythical creature, a “banshee.”

Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5 #5 opens “somewhere beyond knowable places.”  There, the banshee, M├írie, who has many guises and is building an army, makes her pitch.  She wants Bettie to use her power to help her gain revenge on the descendants of her old enemies.  Meanwhile in O'Riordan's Bed and Breakfast, Ireland, 1954.  Lyssa maintains a vigil over Bettie's sleeping form, but now, she needs to round up an army of her own – to fight a zombie horde!

This is it!  The Irish adventure of Bettie Page is almost over?  Will she escape the forever curse of the Banshee and return, unscathed, to the life of a Hollywood starlet?

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5 #5, which is the third issue of the title that I have read.

Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5 #5 is the final issue of the series.  Writer Stephen Mooney offers a tidy wrap-up that balances the story between Bettie's battle and Lyssa's struggle.  There is even a poignant and tragic end for the villain; you, dear readers, may even feel a bit of sadness … or something like it.

Artist Jethro Morales presents storytelling that, in a graphic sense, softens the blow of this conclusion.  Dinei Ribero's cotton candy colors seem simultaneously out of place and appropriate, and letterer Taylor Esposito balances the sounds of a final battle that is filled with pain.

While reading the last issue of Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee, I thought that it would make a good basis for a B-movie.  It would be fun … if anyone wanted to finance a Bettie Page monster mash movie...

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Bettie Page comic books will want to try Bettie Page and the Curse of the Banshee Volume 5.

★★★½ out of 4 stars

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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