Glory, vol. 1

Glory 1Summary: After missing for almost a decade, Glory’s whereabouts are uncovered by a lone reporter, but the globe-spanning conspiracy keeping her hidden from humanity could make her return more dangerous than anyone ever anticipated! This first collection of a brand-new saga written by Eisner & Harvey award-winner Joe Keatinge (Hell Yeah!) and illustrated by acclaimed artist Ross Campbell (Wet Moon, Shadoweyes) reintroduces Glory to a new century by revealing secrets from her past, journeying to the far-flung future and beginning a war unlike any we’ve seen before!

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Glory, vol. 1, by Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell 7.0

‘Glory’ is a comic book series created by Rob Liefeld, of Image Comics fame. It features a superheroine called Gloriana Demeter who is part-Amazonian, part-demon. Basically, it was a poor substitute for Wonder Woman (this is confirmed by the fact that she was frequently paired up with Supreme, a Superman substitute).

The series only lasted a couple of years and was revived by none other than Alan Moore for a couple of issues at the turn of the century. After laying dormant for a while, Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell brought the series back, continuing the series where it left off, but making a few artistic and plot changes along the way.

I don’t actually recall why I got this book. Perhaps it was after I found Ross Campbell’s books at my library, while trying to find ‘Wet Moon‘, that I decided to pick up a few samples of his work. Or maybe that eager comic book-loving librarian put them on my list. Either way, I had no idea what it was and what to expect when I got it.

Honestly, I don’t know what to make of it.

Basically, the book tries to re-establish who ‘Glory’ is for old fans with a poor memory and potential new fans. It sets up the character of Glory, provides us with her background (which has been retooled to make her the cross-breed of two alien clans), throws in a few side-kicks, and then unleashes the mayhem at every turn.

Seriously, who is this book intended for? Is it geared towards people who watch Michael Bay films? Incidentally, do these people even read (and yes, comic books can be considered reading)? Because all this is is action, action, action – wall-to-wall action, with some breaks to lick a few wounds. And the violence? Extreme. Bloody. Gory. Nasty.

I don’t mind violence if it serves the story, but this tale doesn’t interest me in the least, what with all these aliens and warrior races. There were a number of twists that intrigued me, that showed that Keatinge wasn’t going to allow sentimentality or convention dictate his writing, such as the surprise killing of a few key characters.

But, otherwise, it’s vacuous stuff. (I’m not blaming this writer, actually, given that he’s working with a set franchise)

On the art front, Campbell’s work has potential, but it feels like doodles, like incomplete work, to me in many instances. I know he can do better than this, as based on ‘Wet Moon’, so I don’t get it. When he applies himself, however, the art is phenomenal. It’s just that this is limited to a few pages or panels in the whole book.

What’s astounding is the metamorphosis that Glory goes through for this version of the series. Whereas Liefeld drew her as a thinly-veiled copy of Wonder Woman, Campbell chose to bulk her up and put battle scars on her – she is no longer the babe that she once was. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime… in drag. Yep. Lovely.

This is a nice touch in many ways because as much as traditional superheroines look lovely, I just don’t believe in sexily-clad models beating the crap out of villains without breaking a nail of mussing their hair up. That’s just stupid. At least this version, as imposing and slightly off-putting as she is, makes sense contextually. Plus she has Hulk-like rages to boot!

But it isn’t enough to sustain me: ‘Glory’ wasn’t a poor read, but it left me only barely interested in what would come next. Will I read the next volume, or skip it entirely? I couldn’t say for sure. Right now, I feel a bit ambivalent. And yet a part of me also would like to hope that it gets better. But do I care enough to bother finding out? Hmmm…

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