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"Black Betty #4" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Action Lab: Danger Zone

black betty 4 00

Written by Shawn Gabborin
Illustrated by Michela Da Sacco
Colored by Rosa “Rosakaz” Rantila
2018, 32 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on June 6th, 2018


We’ve seen Betty in action, taking down monsters big and small during the first few issues of the series. Now with Black Betty #4, we’re getting the origin of the character and how she became the hard-nosed supernatural bounty hunter. This happens as Betty is forced to face her past as a mystic sifts through her memories.

Betty’s ability to absorb creatures came about like that of a mutant in the Marvel Universe. It happened suddenly and tragically. Artist Michela Da Sacco captures the look of total fear that comes over Betty’s face as she inadvertently absorbs a loved one. This person fades away like a ghost, turning into a tattoo on the poor girl’s arm. She’s left confused and afraid by what she’s done with no way to turn it back. Imagine the pain and heartbreak that she must be going through in that moment.

Click images to enlarge

This is just the first of several bad memories Betty has to relive in this journey. She came here looking for answers and found all the skeletons she’d locked safely in her closet. These glimpses into the past are shown like thought balloons, floating in the air as present-day Betty and the mystic walk through them. Colorist Rosa “Rosakaz” Rantila gives these scenes a lighter shade, like looking at old, sun-bleached photographs. There’s also some excellent use of shadow, as if some of the details have been lost to time and Betty is trying to piece them together.

The contrast between the sweet innocent young girl of the past and the hardened monster hunter of the present is staggering, particularly towards the end of this issue when Betty has had enough. There’s a shocking full-page spread that’s presented with no dialogue. The image speaks for itself.

Click images to enlarge

In the scheme of things, I didn’t need an origin story for Black Betty, as writer Shawn Gabborin dropped us into her world with deft precision. That being said, this issue really rounds out the character and makes her more relatable and sympathetic. She can fight all these monsters for the rest of her life, but she can never undo that first time. It shows how she’s distanced herself from other people, more for their safety than anything else. Black Betty is in a whole new class of monster hunters.


Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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