Sporting a great looking cover – a homage to France Landi’s 1968 poster for the film, Bullit – Death and Glory starts up with a shift down a gear in this third issue, as we get the backstory of Glory Owen’s life thus far as an primer. And, what a life. We learn of Red, her father and only living parent, and how he despised his job until that fateful day he took to the roads and a new life was conceived. A life that saw him and his family stay as far off the grid as is possible. It’s a story full of passion, anger, joy, tragedy and family. A family made up on the road, a family that had your back, but also a family with its own bad apples.
This no-nosense recount of Glory’s life acts as a great prelude – and something of a breather too – to the main action of this issue, as we pick up from last time and are reminded of the peril Glory and her sidekick, Pablo, were left in, as they now try and save his enslaved sister, Isabella. But, it’s also a reminder of the lengths she has to go to to try and save her father. She’s made some bad decisions in her life and while this one seem like another one of those, you simply have to root for her given her motivation and the odds she faces: her ex-husband’s impossible demands, some very nasty criminals who take the torturing of others as an every day occurrence, and the lack of a National Health Service in the United States. And it only gets worse from there.
As the issue progresses, the gears shift back up again, with Glory showing her heroism and her determination to leave no-one behind in her attempts to save her father, and Pablo’s sister. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, a blast from the past returns to ramp up the drama even further again. And, just when you thought this last minute reveal was all they had to worry about, wait till you get to the final page reveal. This book is pretty damn dark, even with all that desert sun. Of course, Bengal does another sterling job on this book, offering up beautifully rendered pages, with a well balanced warm palette of colours to convey the sense of beating sunshine that juxtaposes with the horror of the situation.
Rick Remender delivers a beautifully paced issue which really allows the reader to connect with Glory on many different levels. If you hadn’t connected before, you will by the end of this issue. The backstory is a great inclusion. A most welcome addition to the story so far, while not scrimping on the dangers now awaiting Glory. Drug smugglers, human traffickers, and a series with still plenty of gas in the tank.
Death or Glory #3 is available July 4th from Rick Remender, Bengal, Image Comics and Giant Generator.