With a title like “Glitterbomb” you have to wonder if this comic is all about an employee getting back at a boss or coworker. Surprisingly you’d be right in some sense, but you’d never guess how! Is it good?
Glitterbomb #1 (Image Comics)
So what’s it about? The official Image summary reads:
Farrah Durante is a middle-aged actress hunting for her next gig in an industry where youth trumps experience. Her frustrations become an emotional lure for something horrifying out beyond the water… something ready to exact revenge on the shallow celebrity-obsessed culture that’s led her astray. Fan-favorite JIM ZUB (WAYWARD, Thunderbolts) and newcomer DJIBRIL MORISSETTE-PHAN tear into the heart of Hollywood in GLITTERBOMB, a dramatic horror story about fame and failure.
Why does this book matter?
Writer Jim Zub is behind this title and not for nothing, but he’s writing some of my favorite comics today. From Thunderbolts to Dungeons and Dragons, Zub keeps showing he has a knack for well paced stories and interesting characters. Both those are team books so I’m dying to see what he does with a single central character in Glitterbomb.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This guy is a royal douche.
This is one of those unnerving tales that gut punches you, cuts to a few hours earlier, and gut punches you again. This story does that visually, but also with strong character work with its title character Farrah. She’s an actress trying to kick her career back up, but she’s older now and older women don’t do well in Hollywood. I’m curious if Zub worked in Hollywood at any point, or maybe he just did good research, because Farrah and the other actress she meets in this issue come off as quite genuine and the world they work in quite horrific.
This is also one of those comics that you can’t reveal too much as a lot of its appeal lies in its surprises. Let’s just say the premise appears to be something you won’t be expecting, but when details emerge on what is happening you’ll not want to stop reading. The story does well to pull you into Farrah’s world, see her pain and anguish in dealing with an industry that’s unfair for women her age, but also the outrageous outspokenness of folks around her who think she’s basically a washed up rag. It’s a classic down on your luck character, but there’s a twist and it lashes out big time. You’ll root for her because of those around her, but at the same time question whether you should based on her actions. She’s a complex character in a variety of ways.
This issue is entirely self-contained too. It begins and ends at the same place, which is quite something when you think about it. Zub basically gives us a taste of this world, this character, and ends it all so that anything can happen next. That’s an exciting twist in itself.
The art by Djibril Morissette-Phan with colors by K. Michael Russell (and letters by Marshall Dillon) is reminiscent of Image Comics’ recent series Huck. The line work and layouts are breezy and dictate the story at their own pace. They’re easy to read and it’s even easier to read the characters. The colors have a subdued tone similar to Outcast in a forlorn way which suits the horror aspects of the story.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue is certainly going to make you want more information! That’s not necessarily a negative, although the content of this single issue does feel light in some respects. It’s saving the answers for later and, based on this issue, it’s a fun ride.
Is It Good?
Strong character work outshines an almost equally strong sense of dread and unease in this title. It introduces you to a world we haven’t seen a lot of in comic books, a character you root for, and a premise that can go anywhere. Glitterbomb is exciting if you dig original storytelling, and just may be the horror hit of the year.
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