Writer: Alex Giles
Artists: Ka De Oki, Tiko Capdevila
Release Date: 7th March 2018
Imagine a femme fatale mixture of Steampunk and the Winchester Brothers, and that pretty much sums up Betty Mitchell.
It has no delusions about what it is and that’s quite admirable. Namely, a Victorian horror action comic with a typical fiery redhead of a female protagonist slicing her way through Victorian England and the USA.
The plot follows Betty as she has been called to Aberdeen. It seems that the real life murdered ‘Spring Heel Jack’ has returned to slice and dice the female population and only Betty has the ferocity to stop such a killer. After a brief but bloody battle she chooses to set up shop in Scotland, but it doesn’t last long. Her old friend (and it wouldn’t be Steampunk without him getting a mention, let alone a starring role) Nikola Tesla has called for her assistance following the appearance of a local folklore figure who is now terrorising New Jersey.
As I said before, this isn’t a story on the scale of the League of Extraordinary Gentleman or Hellboy. It’s quite rushed and the transitions are thick and fast between scenes, but that’s ok because it makes up for it with the huge amount of fun I had while reading it.
Similarly to when I read Tinsletown, it’s a real breath of fresh air to see a female lead who’s properly established and not just a bit of eye candy for the fanboys. Betty has her own established back story and motivations in the tale, and while undeniably beautiful there’s a darkness teased at which pushes her to hunt these demons. Bad-ass also clearly is non gender specific, as no one mentions it throughout the whole comic.
The art matches the dark tones of the story with its blood and guts and fog-filled Victorian streets, with Ka De Oki and Tiko Capdevila’s work possessing an adult cartoonish edge to it which is both striking and endearing at the same time. It caters well to the Steampunk fan with its Tesla-made gadgets and Victorian setting, but also to history buffs like me. Oh, and if you’re a fan of murder and the occult, Alex Giles not only includes real killers in for Betty to hunt, but an almost 100% representation of the tale of the Jersey Devil.
If you’re looking for the next Watchmen then you’d probably be better served looking elsewhere. But if you want to have fun and tickle your Lovecraftian horror senses then you could do a lot worse than giving this a read.
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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