Written By: Daniel Warren Johnson
Art By: Daniel Warren Johnson
Colors By: Mike Spicer
Letters By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Art By: Daniel Warren Johnson
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 26th, 2021
In Beta Ray Bill #3, the floor is lava… literally. Bill, Pip, and Skurge wrestle with the awkwardness of Skuttlebutt transforming into a female-ish, cybernetic lifeform while followers of Surtur try to bring the ship down for a burning sacrifice.
Was It Good?
No, it was outstanding.
Everything about this issue is great. The stylistic art suits the material perfectly. The story is imaginative and interesting (and it’s a complete chapter with a beginning, middle, and end), and the character moments all stand out. Event the little ones.
Let’s take a moment to recognize every character in this issue has a moment to shine and distinguish themselves within the ensemble. The breakout character of the issue is the perfect over-the-top energy of Skurge. Please, Marvel, put THIS Skurge in more things whenever you need rowdy comic relief.
Overall, this issue is just plain fun. Do more fun, Marvel. Do more fun.
What’s It About?
We pick up from the end of issue #2 with a humanoid female robot entering the bridge. It’s Skuttlebutt!
There’s no detailed explanation in the issue about how Skuttlebutt was bright to this new form of life other than the transformative magic of Muspelheim changed Skutt. It’s explained without really being explains, but somehow, there’s enough of an explanation to just go with it.
Suddenly, the ship is attacked by worshipers of Surtur who want to burn anything and everything that crosses their path. Manning all available guns, much toe Skurge’s glee, our travelers fend off the attack for a little while. It’s not enough and the ship is brought down, but not before Skutt uses her form to change the form of the ship into a sea ship to crash land on a lava ocean.
Having bought a reprieve, the team decides to follow the lave flow to Muspelheim’s lowest point where power readings indicate Twilight is located.
As they wait for the current to take them to their destination, Bill and Skutt spend a little one-on-one time to sort things out. As awkward as the situation feels, it eventually starts to bear some resemblance to a date. I’m not sure if Johnson intended to imply some emotional connection between Bill and Skutt, but it comes across strongly, particularly from Skutt.
As a gesture of support, Skutt give Bill and axe she made of technologically advanced materials to tide him over until they get to Twilight. You can’t escape how slightly awkward and slightly sweet the interaction is between Bill and Skutt. you could picture them as a couple based on their mutual chemistry, albeit a platonic one based on their physical differences.
As the ship approaches the “drain,” a new wave of Surtur acolytes attack the ship on lava skiffs and a new wave of firefighting breaks out. Bill and team fend off the attackers, and Skurge is in tearful delight over the glory of Bill’s new axe.
We conclude the issue, with the ship converting into a sub over the drain point and submerging to kill off the remaining attackers in the lava. The ship gets pulled into a deep hole and falls into a large, deep, black open space where a very large and many-legged creature is waiting for them.
Great art, great, story, great character moments. This series is firing on all cylinders.
Beta Ray Bill #3 takes everything successful about the first two issues and continues to build on it even more. This is the strongest series Marvel is putting on right now by leaps and bounds above the closest second.