[+++ WARNING: Potential Spoilers! Buy and read the book, then come back here for the commentary! +++]
Hello again everyone!
I sincerely appreciate ye all joining me for part four of my writer’s commentary on Bettie’s Irish adventure. Let’s do it to it!
As we open on the girl’s accommodation at O’Ríordán’s B+B, Lyssa is trying, unsuccessfully, to get Betty to drink the herbal brew recommended by the kindly, weird old shopkeeper in issue three.
Lyssa is almost at her wits’ end at this point – equal parts worried and frustrated that Betty might not actually recover from this thing.
Just as she’s contemplating more desperate measures, there comes a booming knock on the door…
…and we’re introduced to a Catholic Priest. In the 1950s, these were ten-a-penny in Rural Ireland, and frankly there’d be better odds in NOT having a priest call to your door of a stormy evening.
Our new player gets straight to work, claiming he’s been sent as an agent of the Lord/local housekeeper to right whatever accursed wrongs are taking place under this roof. As skeptical and wary as Lyssa is of this beacon of male righteousness and authority, she acquiesces to allowing the priest to help, as frankly she has no bloody clue what to do otherwise.
The priest examines Bettie and concludes that there may indeed be some malevolent presence at work. He gathers his equipment and begins performing several religious rights, including that of exorcism.
Lyssa, growing yet more skeptical by the minute, watches him like a hawk as he begins to go about his sacred duty.
We cut to the ominous forest once more, which houses the mystical mound of earth that was housing the zombie-like creatures Bettie and Lyssa encountered prior. As the ancient exorcism rights are performed, however, the true extent of the undead threat is revealed: an entire ZOMBIE ARMY!
We cut now to Bettie herself, or at least somewhere inside her… She’s enjoying a spot of tea and crumpets with her erstwhile dead ally, Máire. Bettie wonders if Máire is hearing the weird, monastic chanting that seems to be pervading the entire plane, but the Irish woman waves away her questions and concerns, informing her that such things are of entirely zero import anymore.
Bettie grows more and more of Máire’s controlling actions and, in the end, quite literally takes flight, having heard enough. Máire, impressed with Bettie’s rapid control and power over this mystical domain, gives chase.
A strange chase sequence ensues, with the women thundering through the various realms of Bettie’s unconscious mind, all colored by the Irish surroundings that encompass them.
After a somewhat wacky race, Máire catches up with Bettie once again as she tumbles farther down the rabbit hole.
Máire exhibits the extent of her full power once more, enraged at the American woman’s refusal to join her in eternal comradeship. Bettie utilizes heretofore untapped mystical strength, no doubt a residual effect of her struggles with the Ancient Ones in the series prior, to make good her escape!
But what Bettie doesn’t realize, is that she is merely escaping deeper into this mystical realm and eternal damnation!
Cut back now to the ever-more-desperate Lyssa, in the real world. She can see Bettie falling deeper and deeper into the grip of the other-world and, by extension, the Banshee. Bettie’s physical form is growing weaker, corresponding exactly with the fact that she grows stronger as a spirit. Her life-force is visibly waning and transferring to that other version of herself.
The priest is trying in vain to counter this effect, but nothing that he attempts seems to have any beneficial bearing whatsoever. As Lyssa confronts him and accuses him of being a fake, he counters with frustrated half-baked theories of drug misuse on Bettie’s part.
Lyssa ejects the old priest from the premises, reasoning that she has to find another way to help her friend.
But time is running out and Bettie will indeed depart the mortal coil if someone or something does not intervene and stop the dreaded Banshee soon, for once and for all!
To be continued next commentary!
Bettie Page: Curse of the Banshee #4 is out now from Dynamite Comics