Dynamite Entertainment’s Bettie Page Vol. 2 #5 from David Avallone and Julius Ohta released on May 15th, 2019. The comic is about Bettie and her secret agent partner visiting Scotland for a “vacation”, only they get waylaid by some Russian villains and encounter a Cthulhu-inspired rendition of the Loch Ness monster. While the comic is cheesy all the way around, one thing left readers scratching their heads about the whole ordeal: why was Bettie Page, a notorious cheesecake pin-up model, wearing a hijab?
Twitter user Kate posted about the oxymoron fashion statement on May 16th, 2019 after picking up the issue from Comixology.com.
Kate showcased a few images from the comic featuring Bettie and her friend all wrapped up.
So. There’s this Bettie Page comic coming out
and you’d NEVER GUESS what she wears for half the comic — a hijab.
she’s in SCOTLAND
and this is what bettie page is known for pic.twitter.com/dpPSBU7Kna
— Kate: irl mean anime girl (@filthyfujoshi) May 16, 2019
The issue starts with Bettie and her friend at the docks, taking a boat ride across the river. We don’t know exactly why Bettie is wearing the hijab, but her friend is obviously Muslim.
Later on the comic the duo go to setup the camera to take some tame pin-up photos. We still have no idea – while they’re in Scotland – why Bettie Page is wearing a hijab.
Now if you’re guessing that maybe they decided to rewrite the character as a Muslim, well that’s not the case at all. She still strips out of the hijab and her pants to flaunt a skirt and take some photos. She’s still a pin-up model.
Technically an argument could be made that the hijab covers up an accessory Bettie is wearing that turns out to be a key plot point later in the comic: a masonic-esque necklace. However, the whole necklace being covered could have been achieved any number of different ways. She could have had the necklace underneath her t-shirt and she removed the t-shirt to reveal an undershirt and the necklace. She could have worn a scarf. A shawl would have worked just as well.
Anyway, the cover for the necklace plays into the way the story unfolds, since the necklace contains strange powers that the Russians want to utilize for themselves. It also ties into the Lovecraftian plotline that further develops after the Eldritch-inspired Loch Ness monster emerges from the sea and uses its tentacles to communicate through a little girl, telling Bettie that she has to collect the other necklaces to prevent the cosmic gatekeepers of the multiverse from opening a portal to the realms of chaos, where extradimensional horrors would spill into the realm of reality and spell the end of mankind.
The Twitter thread was confused why specifically they decided to have Bettie wear a hijab, since it’s completely out of character for a pin-up model, and it wasn’t like they were visiting a caliphate.
A few people noted that Dynamite Entertainment has been pushing this kind of subversion lately in their Bettie Page, Vampirella and Barbarella comic books. So if that’s the case then it’s not surprising that they would try to inculcate readers with Sharia agitprop.
(Thanks for the news tip Tomato Tentacle)