Published by Image Comics
Glory is a superhero who seems to have vanished, living on only in the dreams of a young girl called Riley. These dreams haunt Riley and pull her across the world while telling the history of Glory, a mighty warrior from another realm who came to Earth in WWII. Like a violent combination of Wonder Woman and She-Hulk this is one comic that doesn’t portray its heroine as an emaciated clothes horse.
Gloriana is an immortal bad ass, the daughter of the queen of the gods and the king of the demons, bred and trained to stop a war that has carried on for eons. While a hugely powerful and skillful warrior she can also slip over into her demonic side and almost ‘Hulk‘ out. I love how her body adapts and changes but always stays recognizable even as it gets more alien. Her face turns savage, spikes grow out her arms and her fighting style gets viscous, all elbows and headbutts.
This is a comic that knows how to start off, on the title page Glory is punching a tank with one fist while holding the severed arm of a dead Nazi in the other. But after spending the entire first issue building her into an unstoppable force, when we finally meet her Glory is in a weakened state on her sick-bed. The flashbacks and glimpses of the future give the story great scope and while it would be easy to be seduced by the all-out action and cool ideas there is a sense of tragic history that keeps the tale grounded.
Campbell does a magnificent job on the artwork. Aside from Glory he creates fantastic, demonic creatures, my favourite of which hides in the body of an old peasant lady and when it morphs back to its true form keeps wearing the remnants like some kind of old tattered jacket. Praise must go to the colourists, Joseph Bergin III and Shatia Hamilton, who keep the tone light and almost pastel at times but never cross the border into cuteness.
Like my much-loved Prophet, this is a remake of a terrible looking 90’s comic (I didn’t realize how bad until I did an image search for this post, let’s just say that g-strings and bad anatomy appeared to be the main drawcard. I have to hand it to Image for getting these young, talented cartoonists to come in and take their characters in new directions, Marvel and DC could sure learn from this strategy.
Should I buy it? If you want to see some arse-kicking on a demonic scale and think there should be more strong, legitimately powerful female characters in superhero comics then you cannot go wrong here. Sadly it has just been cancelled, but I await volume 2 and will be keepinmg an eye for more comics by Keatinge and Campbell.
Next time: It’s been busy month but I will get to review one more Image book before May ends. A book I loved but that didn’t seem to get much heat, Halcyon by Marc Guggenheim, Tara Butters and Ryan Bodenheim. It’s one of those dark takes on superheroes that usually fail in their attempts to out grim Watchmen, this one pulls it off.