Oh boy let me tell ya, I have quite the thing for dark, gory and gothic worlds. If it loosely reminds me of Halloween in any way, shape, or form I will always instantly be on board. So reading through Betty ‘The Slayer’ Mitchell was already a delight just by concept alone, but whether it has more to offer… that’s to be seen.
Enter Betty: The Beast Slayer
Written by Alex Giles with fantastic art by Ka De Oki and coloring by Tiko Capdevila, Issue #1 starts off as Betty – more properly known as Elizabeth Mitchell – is requested to aid a certain town with a beast problem,
The town of Aberdeen, Scotland, having been hit with a number of gruesome murders has called in Betty to deal with the issue. The culprit, “Spring-Heeled” Jack, and Betty already have history; Betty having been attacked by him in the past. So, doing her duty while also being determined to settle the score, Betty sets off to Aberdeen to deal with the Man-Beast once and for all.
That’s the initial setup, I don’t really wanna talk more about the story since that’s important to a lot of people, but overall I found the story pretty serviceable. I was interested enough but could’ve gone with a bit more character and world building. I was especially a bit perturbed when Nicola Tesla made an appearance partway through… but I think I’m just tired of seeing the guy.
Petty grievances aside it was a rather interesting setup to what I hope will be a fantastic story.
The Writing and Characters
Honestly, the writing itself is pretty standard – that is to say – there’s nothing wrong with it. It just doesn’t do anything mind-blowing in way of style or things to say. Well except for this one moment toward the beginning…
During a certain fight, Betty does that thing where she explains each movement and action she’s going to take before she makes them; i.e. “-and now I’ll slice both of your arms, leaving you defenseless for the final blow!!!” Where most of the time I tend to find that kind of stuff really annoying and unnecessary – especially in video – here I actually enjoyed it quite a bit and found it only added to the badass nature of Betty herself.
Other than that though, you can expect some pretty standard lines from Betty ‘The Slayer’ Mitchell, which is always fine.
When it comes to characters, everyone feels – so far – like a distinct personality. Betty’s not just the stoic beast-slayer you see in most forms of media, she actually has a personality and knows how to smile from time to time. While the characters don’t really get that much characterization in the first issue, there are enough subtle details that keep them from feeling like plain archetypes.
Just Look at that Art…
That’s not to mention how much the art itself adds to the character’s personality. Each smile, frown, grin, and stare all have presence and add a certain genuine feel to everyone on the page. There really is some great facial detail here. I really enjoyed just staring at characters due to their beautifully drawn expressions.
Environments are no different. Backgrounds and building get just the same amount of care when it comes to making them feel both alive and present. Thanks to the fantastic contrast and color most locals have just the right amount of pop, thoroughly enhancing each scene.
Seriously though, Ka De Oki and Tiko Capdevila have done a great job on this one. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed just looking at the pages. Compositions are wonderful, and thanks to the rather quick pacing it seems like I was always seeing something at least somewhat interesting. I really wanna see more art by these guys. Just great stuff.
Looks Aside… How’d I Feel When It Was Over?
Well… mostly satisfied. Again, I really enjoy the setting on its own so that’s already a plus. I guess if there’s one thing I could say is that I wish there was a bit more at the end, or at least an ending title card or something; as I found the last page to have a bit of an abrupt stop.
But really, that’s not too harsh of a complaint. I enjoyed reading through Betty ‘The Slayer’ Mitchell and would love to read more. Other than wanting a small amount more characterization and world-building, I’m fine with that not being the focus of the first issue. Overall, It was pretty good, I recommend giving it a read.
If I can add anything in way of criticism, I guess it’d be that nothing much really happened in the story overall. Mostly just some traveling but – I mean – that’s fine. I hope it gets a bit more interesting in the next issue; but until then, hats off to Betty ‘The Slayer’ Mitchell. Tis’ a good read.