Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Review - Death or Glory #1 (@imagecomics)


"A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest."

Life has its ups and downs. It's how we react in those situations that dictate our overall outlook on things. In Death or Glory #1 from Image Comics, life definitely has its ups and downs. The issue is written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Bengal and lettered by Rus Wooton.

Meet Glory, raised off the grid in a convoy amid truckers—the last men and women fighting for true freedom on the American open road. Now, in order to pay for her beloved dying Father’s surgery, Glory has three days to pull off four dangerous cross-country heists with mob killers, crooked cops, and a psycho ex-husband all out to bring her in or die trying.

What Remender (and by extension Death or Glory #1) does so well in the issue is emphasize the complexities in the tedium of a regular life. All the characters in the issue are doing their best to get by and struggling with all manner of complexities in life, ranging from a menial job serving fast-food to struggling to find enough money for a medical procedure. Remender doesn't look at those common events with disdain; rather, he uses them flawlessly to draw the reader in and make the world feel believable. Glory in particular is a character rife with a desire to do whatever's necessary to save someone and watching her plan quickly unravel was actually quite satisfying in a way. Remender reminds us that no matter how many times we go over something in our heads there are always going to be uncertainties that knock us off our premeditated paths.

Bengal does a fantastic job with the artwork in the book. There's an extraordinary cleanliness to his presentation that gives the book a very sleek look. The style is also subtle enough that it doesn't bog the book down in too much emotion; that is, Bengal allows the action to stay relatively light despite the intensity of the events unfolding throughout. Cleanly arranging the panels does wonders for pacing the book's visuals with Bengal bringing order to the chaos through empty gutters and borders. The colors are a great array as well, primarily relying on brighter colors that reinforce the book's setting in a southwest town.

Death or Glory #1 is about as solid as you can get in a first issue. Glory is obviously in way over her head in more ways than one, but she seems savvy enough to find a way out. Remender's script slowly ramps up to a rather surprising payoff and efficiently defines all the players along the way. Bengal's illustrations are lean and gorgeous, providing a great look at the highs and lows of the book. Death or Glory #1 is a fantastic read and definitely gets the reader excited for what's to come.

Death or Glory #1 is available now.

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