July 17, 2012

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Glory #27

Written by Joe Keatinge
Illustrated by Sophie Campbell
Image Comics

The battle is joined as Glory and her allies struggle valiantly against the odds to sop the invasion force from Glory's homeworld.  As Glory goes into a battle-lust that could harm both friend and foe alike, Riley makes her last stand, only to find out that this whole crusade is far more complex than she could ever have imagined.  It's another series of twists and turns in the revamped story of Glory.

I've been reviewing Glory regularly for Newsarama but I missed this one due to my own schedule.  With issue 28 hitting the stands tomorrow, I wanted to get my thoughts down on this one before Keatinge and Campbell reveal more of the story.  If you haven't been keeping up with my thoughts on there, Glory has been a surprise hit with me, with only one issue being a miss due to excessive padding.  It's the story of a warrior woman who might just be the most powerful mortal in the Extreme portion of the Image Universe who thinks that she must be ready to fight the creatures from her homeworld.  At the same time, Riley, a young woman who dreams of Glory and shares a link to her, is being given an entirely different impression, with Glory's rise leading to a dystopian state.

It's a great study in contrasts and conflicting views and it looks like we're hitting a key moment in this arc.  Keatinge opens with a chilling story of Glory's early days, though it's unclear whose vision this is.  (The art and setting imply it is Glory's memory, but I wouldn't set that in stone.)  We then romp through pages of violence that are both carefully crafted and amazingly bloody while not feeling overdone, as Glory wrecks the invasion crew while Riley runs for her life.  We see the cost of being Glory's acolyte front and center, adding to the doubts a reader might be having, only to see them hammered home (by a creature that vaguely resembles a hammerhead shark) on the last page.  By the end of Glory 27, we aren't sure what to think, which is awesome

Sophie Campbell really draws the hell out of this issue.  She's got to create a wide variety of creatures, which he handles with ease.  Each one we encounter here is both monstrous and nightmare inducing, with lots of tentacles, stalks, and other things designed to make us think they are horrible--even if the truth might be very different.  She really ratchets up the gore factor, but there's no sense that it's done to shock the reader.  We see it to know that this is a high-stakes game that Riley has gotten herself into and to know that Glory, not unlike Wolverine, is a killing machine when let loose.  There should be terror in the eyes of those who watch her, and Campbell shows that.  This might be my favorite work I've seen him do and it keeps getting better every month.

It's sometimes hard to believe that Glory started as a Rob Liefield comic.  I hope he's happy with the direction Keatinge and Campbell have gone, because I know I certainly am.  If you aren't reading this yet, you really need to give it a try. Look in your back issue bins or, better yet, just get the digital copies.  Either way, Glory is an ongoing that should not be missed.  Issue 28 hits stores tomorrow, and I expect it to land with a bang.