Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Review - Betty 'The Slayer' Mitchell #1 (@Markosia)

"Dear Miss Elizabeth Mitchell. I hope that this letter reaches you soon. We are really in desperate need of your services..."

History is littered with heroes and villains. The two fight one another in an endless struggle for dominance. Sometimes though a new hero is inserted in history against a familiar villain. Betty 'The Slayer' Mitchell #1 from Markosia is one such instance. The issue is written by Alex Giles and illustrated by Oscar Perez Gallardo.

A spate of grisly murders leads to a desperate plea for help from renowned monster hunter Betty ‘The Slayer’ Mitchell. This one is personal though, when she finds out that the brutal killer is none other than Spring-Heeled Jack. It was he that attacked Betty previously and led her to the path that she is now on, hunting down monsters of legend, and she wants some closure!

The concept of inserting new heroes against historically notorious villains certainly isn't new and Giles does just that with Betty Mitchell. Elizabeth "Betty" Mitchell is characterized as sufficiently capable of going toe-to-toe with even the most ruthless killers in the book. Giles writes her with an emphasis on her no-nonsense attitude and desire to jump right in--consequences be damned. The book is paced in a way that largely focuses on her encounter with one villain that is then used as a springboard for presumably the entire series. What's slightly puzzling is Giles' approach in terms of the opponents Mitchell will face in that he assumes they all exist at the same time period in history; this isn't necessarily a problem in the first issue but it could pose one as the series continues.

Gallardo's linework in the issue focuses primarily on the characters and less on the backdrops. Betty is illustrated with an expected amount of attractiveness that causes her to stand out from the other characters. The panels are haphazard in a positive way as Gallardo uses the layouts well to keep up with the action, most of which involves Betty in fisticuffs with another. Because there's relatively little focus on setting, it's hard for the reader to fully grasp the time period that Gallardo is illustrating, although the period garb compensates for that. The colors throughout the book are darker and set the atmosphere appropriately, save for Betty's fire-red hair that ensures she always stands out.

Betty 'The Slayer' Mitchell #1 is a book that introduces a new character in the annals of established history. Betty is combat-ready, smart and attractive as she squares off against both literal and figurative monsters. Giles' script is pretty fast-moving and focuses more on the fighting and less on conversation. Gallardo's artwork is a good match for the story and gives readers a good look at the monsters Betty must contend with. Betty 'The Slayer' Mitchell #1 is anachronistic in a way that offers readers a glimpse at a new character fighting known entities.

Betty 'The Slayer' Mitchell #1 is available now.


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