“Glory” is one of the two Extreme Studios re-launch titles that I’ve come to look forward to every month and “Glory” #28 is no exception to that rule. While most of this issue involves a massive fight scene, Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell still provide enough in the way of interesting hooks that my attention is still being grabbed and then some.
If you just examine this comic from an artistic standpoint, it’s already worth buying. Campbell’s art is like few others in the industry; able to go for a small and subtle look, but also knowing when to go for large and over-the-top exaggerated features. The latter is what we get for Glory herself; she’s ridiculously muscled, but every part of her is huge and impossible to ignore. From the hair that cascades all around her body and beyond her feet (eat your heart out, Queen Medusa of the Inhumans) to a curiously segmented sword as long as her body, everything is in-your-face and massive. It’s a careful contrast to someone like Riley, who is dwarfed when standing next to Glory. Her body is slight and anything but super-human, and her face shifts between bewildered, scared and nervous; a very different look than the determined and angry ones we get from Glory. It feels like the entire spectrum of humanity exists in the gulf between the two, at least physically.
The monsters in “Glory” look equally wonderful and over the top — from a massive winged cat that shoots lightning out of its eyes to a shark-headed humanoid, everything looks different and crazy to the point where it’s almost impossible to read “Glory” #28 just once because it’s all so much to try and take in at once. I’d love to see Campbell’s original pages for “Glory” at full size, because the amount of detail packed in here is impressive.
All of that isn’t to undercut Keatinge’s story, which is also good. I like that Riley’s still being pulled between the two sides in the conflict, and that the more we hear the less easy it is to declare one of them “good” and the other “bad.” This issue is also a turning point for Riley, as she gets pulled into her first major battle and we see her pushed into a situation that she wasn’t ready for. It’s definitely set-up for what’s still to come, but at the same time it’s a powerful moment (and I appreciated the rest of the world briefly fading to black and white when she realizes the line that she had to step over).
The only real complaint I have about “Glory” #28 is that it’s not a great place to sample the series for the first time, as it’s right smack in the middle of a big storyline that’s been moving ever since Keatinge and Campbell first re-launched the title. If you don’t mind jumping into the middle, though, do take a look. This book (along with “Prophet”) has turned out to be far more entertaining than I think anyone could have imagined. It’s big and crazy, but equally capable of quiet and intimate moments. Good stuff.