Review - GLOW #1 (@IDWPublishing)

"Man, screw Monday."

Wrestling has been around forever and it brings with it a certain level of entertainment. In GLOW #1 from IDW Publishing, the previously accepted version of wrestling as men grappling with one another is upended. The issue is written by Tini Howard, illustrated by Hannah Templer, colored by Rebecca Nalty and lettered by Christa Miesner.

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling are ready to take on the world—or at least LA—in this comic based on the hit Netflix series! When the unthinkable happens and the women of GLOW find themselves ahead of schedule, Sam ruins the promise of a wrestling-free weekend with… more wrestling! Robbed of blissful relaxation and forced to raise money to fund their way to the event, the GLOW team is less-than-prepared for their opponents: real gorgeous lady wrestlers. What could possibly go wrong?!

It's very apparent that Howard is a fan of the Netflix show of the same name as she conveys an intimate understanding of each of the characters. The entire premise behind the first issue of the comic is that the wrestlers must raise money for a wrestling trip forced upon the group, prompting each of them to seek out the money in a way befitting their personalities. Howard spends most of the issue defining the characters in this way, which is pretty clever in that it introduces those unfamiliar with the property to the characters without being too blunt about it. The issue is also crafted in a way that makes it feel as if it's just another episode in the series, something which Howard relies on to keep things moving. To this point in the show, the characters have really only wrestled one another so the twist Howard is putting on things is quite interesting.

Templer does a great job with the artwork, illustrating each wrestler in a way that very closely resembles their on-screen counterparts. The cast of the show is very diverse and it's a testament to Templer's ability that she manages to translate that diversity to the page. There's an airy, cartoonish style that Templar relies on throughout the issue that adds a certain bit of gravitas to the otherwise sobering realities that the wrestlers are all contending with. There's not really any wrestling on display in the first issue and Templar uses simple, clean panel layouts for conveying the conversations and dialogue amongst characters. Nalty uses very bright and vivid colors to provide some buoyancy to the illustrations.

GLOW #1 maintains the spirit and tone of the show very well. All the personalities are on display and are dealing with the same caliber of zaniness as what's on the show. Howard has a very good grasp of what makes the characters tick and how they all interact with one another. Templer's illustrations are a perfect fit for the issue as it captures their likenesses very well. GLOW #1 is a great first issue that fans of the show and those interested in finding out what it's all about will definitely enjoy.

GLOW #1 is available March 27.