Death or Glory makes returns this week to comic shops everywhere, with our hero, Glory Owen, on the road and putting the pedal to the metal. What was supposed to be an easy job soon when south really, really quickly after Glory discovered human trafficking where she thought she’s find cold hard cash. Money that would have helped to pay for father’s life-saving surgery.
But, all that’s out of the window now, as she has a coterie of crazy characters hot on her heels. What’s worse? She don’t even know the half of it. As is clear when reading Death or Glory #6 by Rick Remender (writer), Bengal (artist) and Rus Wooton (letterer).
The first part of this dynamic, adrenaline-laced issue re-introduces us to all the major psychos out to take revenge on Glory and her travelling buddies, with her ex-husband, Toby, trying to squirm out of a jam, only to come face-to-face with Mr Rime, and the Dutch Twins. Think the Grady twins from The Shining, but grown up. Creepy. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of villainy, as the real deal is introduced with his own very personal reasons for collecting from Glory. “Dickless Frankenstein,” indeed. Although, there does seem to be yet another shady character – Mr Smoke – merely hinted at here. A mystery for another day.
I’ve likened this series to Breaking Bad meets Bullit, but on Blue Sky. And it’s true.
While the plot reflects the darker side of human existence – what with its human trafficking, bad ass, violent gangsters, and human organ harvesting – the surrounding cast are straight out of a comic book. Which is handy. Remender, along with the wicked artwork of Bengal, have created a set of iconic antagonists that will last a long time in the memories of comic book fans. It also adds a shade of humour to the title, black as that humour is. Without it, this could well be a far more tragic tale. It could still be for many of the people we’ve met along the way, as the bodycount sees to be growing with each issue. It all helps add tension to this already thrilling series, but the odd chuckle always helps alleviate the tension too.
Bengal – along with the likes of Sean Murphy – not only seem to revel in drawing muscle cars and hotrods, but does it with such finesse. Not every artist loves drawing cars, but Bengal seems not be one of those. It takes a great artist to create such a strong sense of movement and kinetic energy on a page. And, Bengal delivers in spades, once again. He really pours dynamism into each moving vehicle, when he’s not marvelling readers with his depiction of what is, essentially, desert land. But like the directing in Breaking Bad, Bengal realises there is beauty in such vast, still, dry and dirty vistas. Even when mired by violence.
It’s very much a welcome return to one of my favourite non-superhero themed comics of last year, and it’s been well worth the wait. And, available now from Image Comics/Giant Generator.