PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of BLACK BETTY #1 from Action Lab: Danger Zone. Currently on Kickstarter, this new series features writing from Shawn Gabborin (Puppet Master, Fracture), artwork by Michela Da Sacco (Puppet Master), and colors by Rosa “Rosakaz” Rantila (Guncats).
Here’s PopCultHQ’s Spoiler-Free Review of…
BLACK BETTY #1
32 pgs./ Mature Audiences / Full Color / SRP: $4.99
Meet the newest member of Zombie Tramp universe!
Black Betty has made a living killing the unkillable. She has taken down monsters of every shape and size with a style all her own. But when a man’s daughter is kidnapped by a local legend, Betty steps in to save her… for a price!
If you need it dead (and you’ve got the cash!), Betty’s your girl!
DIAMOND ITEM CODES:
NOV171114 – Cover A – Michela Da Sacco Regular Cover (unlimited)
NOV171115 – Cover B – Michela Da Sacco Battle Damaged (limited to 2500)
NOV171116 – Cover C – Marco Maccagni Artist Variant (limited to 2000)
NOV171117 – Cover D – Marco Maccagni Tattered & Torn (limited to 2500)
NOV171118 – Cover E – Mendoza variant (limited to 2000)
NOV171119 – Cover F – Mendoza risqué variant (limited to 2500)
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
BLACK BETTY #1
There’s a new badass in the Zombie Tramp universe…”Black” Betty Walker. This “Monster Hunter For Hire” isn’t afraid to take on the biggest and baddest, as long as she gets paid! With a unique ability of absorbing any evil monster, it’s uncertain what the ramifications will be for Betty. One thing that does occur upon absorption is she’s permanently marked with a tattoo of the event. I have a feeling these things are going to come back and haunt her in some way, possibly even bestowing certain abilities or characteristics of these now-deceased entities.
What I most enjoyed about this first issue, and readers will easily pick up on as they thumb through the pages, is you feel as if you are truly along for the ride with Black Betty. Betty’s first-person narration essentially has you feel as if you are riding shotgun, getting to experience a normal day on the life of Black Betty – making the world safe from various monsters and threats, and being well-compensated for her troubles.
It’s also refreshing seeing the titular character portrayed as a more relatable female lead. Betty’s not some hot supermodel wearing Steampunk attire taking on the baddies. She’s a strong, determined, confident woman sporting those tats, a rockabilly style, and a swagger you just gotta love. Fantastic first issue and I’m excited to see more of Betty’s adventures. And the prospect of Betty running into Janey “Zombie Tramp” Belle, Katie “Vampblade” Carva, and Lila “DollFace” Thorsguard opens up possibilities my mind can’t even wrap itself around.
Writer Shawn Gabborin kicks off the New Year by introducing the world to this badass woman and Black Betty’s got me sprung! Betty’s going to make for a new and exciting dynamic in the Zombie Tramp universe, but it’s in her solo adventures where we’re really going to deeper into this fresh character. Just based off this first issue, it looks like Shawn has just scraped the surface of Betty’s persona, her abilities, and the potential detrimental effect it will have on her absorbing monsters.
As mentioned above, I was impressed how fast it felt that I was “along for the ride” with Betty, rather than merely reading the story. That’s a credit to Gabborin’s talent and his experience as a writer. For one to become immersed into the story, with surprising ease, speaks volumes to the writing. Terrific pacing and a compelling storyline make BLACK BETTY #1 a solid first issue from the writer.
Artist Michela Da Sacco gives BLACK BETTY the darker, grittier tone the series needs. With a rough and rugged brawler-type lead, and things that go bump in the night, the look she gives this issue sets the tone nicely.
Michela also does a tremendous job in capturing Betty’s physique. In a world full of thin female body types, drawing them seems like less of a challenge than one of Betty’s stature. Her walk, twists, and turns aren’t quite the same and Da Sacco’s nailed it with Betty’s gait. Quite possibly some of the best work I’ve seen for a full-figured character (male or female) as to its credibility and realistic look.
Colorist Rosa “Rosakaz” Rantila delivers nicely in this first issue. From her soft and subtle highlights, excellent shading and contrast, and great usage of light sources (especially in the caves), “Rosakaz” is a great addition to the creative team. Rantila gives all the characters definition and compliments Michela’s work exceptionally. And I’m not big on flannel shirts, but I have to say that I really like the look Rosa’s colors gives Betty’s shirt. It’s nothing mind-blowing, it is flannel after all, but it was enough to make me notice and appreciate it. Really looking forward to more from this up-and-coming colorist in 2018.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
Fans rejoice! A new female character that’s as real as it gets, and as tough as they come, is making her way into the Zombie Tramp universe. Ride shotgun with Betty as she takes on the toughest monsters the world can bring, and a unique approach that opens the doors wide at the possibilities for this series.
The creative team works together harmoniously in bringing not only Black Betty to life, but the perils she encounters not matter the cost. And mad props for Betty making sure she gets paid for her troubles. Come for the appealing story, stay for the appealing artwork, and leave a fan anxiously awaiting more from this badass monster hunter!
5 Out of 5 Stars
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer – Shawn Gabborin
Artist – Michela Da Sacco
Colorist – Rosa “Rosakaz” Rantila
Publisher – Action Lab: Danger Zone