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Glory #26 – Review

In this issue of Glory, we are out of the future and set firmly in the present. A war is coming and Glory is trying to prepare the young Riley for the violence to come. Don’t worry though, kids! There’s plenty of violence to be had, right here!
When I decided to check out Glory #25, I was intrigued by a book that I felt had a lot of qualities reminiscent of the incredible science fiction manga series, Battle Angel Alita. However, my enjoyment of these elements was tempered by the very confusing series of events that made up the story. This time, the Alita qualities are gone, but the plot does seem more coherent. Whether or not that is a good thing is very much in the eye of the beholder.

As I said, the story in this issue takes place in the present. The previous issue focused on a vision that a young girl named Riley had, for some reason. Nothing I have read so far tells me why this girl has such an ability or why she is spe
cifically important to the title character, but my current assumption is that this has far more to do with coming into the series late than it does a lack of context on the writer’s part. Even so, I don’t imagine it would hurt too much to throw out a bit of exposition every now and again.Glory #26
Anyway, the tale we return to is of the alien warrior goddess, Glory, and her wish to protect the Earth from the army her father is sending after her. I think. This issue, apparently the first in its own story arc, seems to be when things start coming to a head. Glory is trying to train Riley to fight. Some weird, but very polite, creature shows up in their house. One of the neighbors is murdered by a bizarre alien that has been masquerading as his elderly wife. Defecation and fans are very much in alignment here.

So, without as many cool sci-fi nods, is there anything here to recommend the book? Well, yes, but I’m not sure there is enough for a full, un-reserved recommendation.

First, we have Glory, herself. I like Glory, mostly based on the current character design. There is still not a lot I do not know about her character traits, but, on the physical end of things, she looks real to me. Real in the sense that an alien space warrior woman is a thing that exists. Her hair is out of her face, her clothes are tattered and stitched together, she is covered in scars, and she is more muscular than She-Hulk. Glory looks like a person who can give and take a beating. She does not come from the Wonder Woman “I am slim and trim, but I have a great deal of physical strength that is not based on muscle mass.” This is a quality I find different enough in comics to be considered relatively unique, and that is something I can appreciate.

Another quality I appreciate in Glory is her relationship with Riley. I will reiterate that there is still a lot I do not know or understand about who these characters are, but the idea that these two characters are important to each other has definitely been impressed upon me. As the comic starts, the two are alone in the wilderness, surrounded by dense snow. Glory is trying to teach Riley how to fight with weapons; basically by attacking her and not really giving her any instruction. This is not what I would call a good training scene, but for some reason, it really works for me as a relationship building scene. Glory seems to only understand fighting. Riley knows nothing about fighting. Glory does not seem to know how to teach very well, but she is trying to share her knowledge, her weapons, and really her whole world with this little girl. Maybe I am reading too much into this scene. There is not really any dialogue spoken to this effect and, in fact, very little is said between these two at all in this issue. Even so, I cannot help but feel there is a trust between these characters that I find worth paying attention to.

Finally, there is the violence. There is not a ton of it here, but what there is ends up being bloody and gruesome. Violence in Glory achieves a certain weight that is simply much harder to match in more mainstream comics. Maybe the fact this issue downplays the action so much lends to the impact left by the very brief scenes that do happen.

Of course, all that being said, Glory is far from winning full accolades. Everything I illuminated as a positive could just as easily be taken as a negative. While I may appreciate the character design, it is certainly not for everyone. Glory is not necessarily the ideal of feminine beauty. Furthermore, despite my appreciation for how this one character is depicted, as well as the artist’s interpretation of gore, I am not a huge fan of the art style here. In the previous issue, I really liked the sets I saw that reminded me of other works. This time, everything is just set in a European town in the winter. Several characters have very small eyes that look a little strange to me. I swear that Riley’s face is eighty percent chubby cheeks. Ross Campbell’s art gets the job done, for the most part, but it is far from my favorite. My praise for the Glory/Riley relationship and the violence too, while decent scenes, are still only brief. Would the comic be more successful is these scenes were longer? I don’t know, but the stuff in between was not exactly scintillating, in my opinion.

Like its previous issue, Glory #26 leaves me a bit confused. There is good here, but I cannot say whether it is enough good to warrant the price. The series looks like it may very well be ramping up the scale of Glory’s conflict, but, for now, some readers may want to wait on the sidelines.


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