Glory #23

Comic book, 2012

Almost literally the sister comic to Extreme’s other high-profile relaunch, Glory is looking to a lot of people like one of the forerunners of the evolution of comics. A bold step away from the past, the past being both its source material and the direction of mainstream comics at large, and a step toward a type of mainstream comic that you can show to someone who isn’t predisposed to like them without shame or embarrassment. And it probably is that, whether the rest of the industry takes its lead is another matter. What’s not helping is the fact that it ain’t great. The plot is trite, the dialogue is underdeveloped, and the art has a lot of distracting crossed eyes and lumpy-shaped heads. But this book does have one, absolutely stunning aspect to it. The artist, Ross Campbell’s, depiction of its protagonist. The mere way he draws her is spitting in the face of the entire history of how superhero comics have depicted the female form.  It’s the type of thing that if we lived in a better world wouldn’t bat an eye, but just making the people of this world look at is going to force them to confront their preconceived notions of gender on sight alone. Look at Liefeld’s cover for the exact same issue. He can’t even entertain the notion of drawing the character the same way as Campbell for even a second. I almost wish I’d gotten the comic with this cover. It’s a sterling antithesis to the progressive message of the interior art. Even if I was never rushing out to read it, I’ve always been in awe of Campbell’s apparent agenda of producing comics that young girls wouldn’t have to insult a part of themselves in order to look at and enjoy. He’s got that quality cranked up to eleven on Glory, and that alone will have me showing it to anyone who I might think could enjoy it, whether they already read comics or not. And that may be the greatest gift of the Extreme relaunch.

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