Let me say up front that I have no idea how to review Glory #25. I do not know what this review is going to say. As of writing this, I do not have a score in mind, nor am I sure what I will critique or praise. This book has me a little flummoxed. That is why, instead of taking my time and coming to terms with what I have seen, I am going to write this immediately and review this thing stream-of-consciousness style. Excited to find out what I think? I know I sure am.
Alright. Glory. I have not read Glory before and I was not previously aware of the character. Apparently, Glory was a superhero originally created by the infamous Rob Liefeld as a half-Amazon/half-demon/half-obvious-Wonder-Woman-rip-off. At this point she fought Nazis or something. I don’t know and I can’t imagine caring less. After this, the legendary Alan Moore came to Image and made several of Liefeld’s creation his own, including Glory. Of course, this is Joe Keatinge’s version of the character. My understanding is that the story and characters have been retooled a bit once more and this current version actually started in Glory #23. Which would make this only the third issue in the story. As such, I am a little confused as to why this book is so polarizingly impenetrable.
So, the first page is a panel of a sleeping child with the giant words “RILEY DREAMS” as framing. Turn the page and we are five hundred years in the future. What? Is there some Rip Van Winkle shenanigans going on? Is this part of the dream? Could the dream be entirely unrelated? It did come right at the start with no context or introduction. There is really no way of knowing until you get to the end of the book. Obviously, I am saying this from a frame of reference that lacks any of the previous books, but I cannot help but feel a little effort should have been made to include new readers here. Without the context of what is actually going on, every event that follows seemed a little confusing to me. I mean, even if this is Riley’s dream, does that mean it is an accurate depiction of the future? I have no idea. I know all of zilch about Riley and Riley’s dreams. Why is any of this more important than what is happening right now? Should the story be taking place five hundred years in the future? Maybe that is the more interesting setting.
It certainly looks like that may be the case. Granted, this book shows nothing of the present, but the future, as it is displayed here, does have a certain grit and sense of lawlessness that I find compelling. The way some of the characters are dressed and the way the locales teem with broken humans and alien life makes me think of a more vicious Mos Eisley. Actually, the whole thing reminds me a great deal of the fantastic manga series Battle Angel Alita. If the rest of the series exudes a similar atmosphere, then I can certainly anticipate a growing interest. Unfortunately, not too much of that element shows up here.
The story, I guess, is about Riley searching for Glory. Why are they still alive after five hundred years? I have no idea. Also, before this gets too confusing, let me note that I am not sure of Riley’s gender. I think she is a girl, so I will refer to her as such, but this assumption is more or less based on nothing. So, Riley is old, but not dead for some reason, and goes to look for Glory. She finds her almost immediately. There is literally one short action scene, then she drives to the middle of nowhere, and then Glory shows up. For some reason, Glory, who looks like an extremely-scarred and extremely-muscular warrior woman, looks like an alien robot thing in the future. Again, I do not know why this is. I do not know how the characters recognize one another, since they look nothing like their appearances in the present. My guess is that it does not matter. The two have a chat that does not end well and then the book ends with, what I assume is, a shocking revelation.
If I had context for any of the events transpiring in this book, then I really do not know how much of a difference it would have made. It does not seem like there could possibly be enough to make all of this make sense. This is easily one of the most confusing things I have read in a while. Which is why I find it really strange that I kind of liked it.
To be clear, I certainly cannot give this book a resounding recommendation. The content is just far too inexplicable. Having said that, I am legitimately intrigued. Glory is mysterious and conflicted. One of the few things made clear is that she fights to protect people, but ends up doing more harm than good. She is this giantess of a woman, covered in scars from countless battles, but the dialogue and body language portrayed in the art is effective in making her seem vulnerable. I want to know about her fight and her relationship with Riley. I want to know about this future and what part Riley or her dreams have to play in any of this. The art is adequate at violence and somewhat confusing in telling a visual story, but the expressive body language and the atmospheric trappings left me with a lasting impression.
A book that is not for everyone, but has a few stand out moments, sounds pretty fitting for Glory #25. According to my grading scale, that is a six. That was me just then deciding on the score. You don’t even have to scroll to the bottom now. What a time save. Anyway, if you have the extra cash, then maybe you will want to give this book a shot. Maybe you won’t. I certainly couldn’t blame anyone, either way. When Glory #26 is out I have every intention of seeing if this issue looks any clearer in retrospect, but, for now, it is what it is: A confusing comic that I somehow enjoyed.