A Crash Course In The Art Of Promo: GLOW vs. The Babyface #1

by Brendan M. Allen

The women of GLOW are preparing for an all-new sort of a foe… a news anchor! As they learn the art of the promo to convince the media that GLOW isn’t a bad influence on children, they discover a much bigger problem. There’s a runaway living under the ring!

In GLOW vs. The Babyface #1, the local news is running a piece on the ladies and their influence on local youth. It’s not a hard spin, but the ladies will have to seriously refine their promo skills in order to sell it live. Bash and Sam have the ladies review hours of tape and rehearsing scripts before they’ll hold auditions to see who will be the face of GLOW. Also, some kid has been pulling a Swoggle under the ring.

Aimee Garcia and AJ Mendez (fka AJ Lee in WWE) deliver a script full of humor and heart. Have either of these two ever written comics before? Because if this is their debut series, I’m doubly impressed. 

There are some obvious nods to some of the greatest wrestlers to ever cut promo, and some more subtle references strewn throughout. There are also enough callbacks to the Netflix series to make this book instantly familiar, without leaning too heavily on the streaming series. GLOW vs. The Babyface stands on its own legs.

Though the writing team is completely different, the art team is the same here as GLOW vs. the Star Primas, which lends continuity to the franchise as a whole. Hannah Templer and Rebecca Nalty bring that same slightly too caricatured, slightly too bright and shiny aesthetic to this new book that is absolutely perfect for an eighties satirical wrestling action comedy. 

Templer’s likenesses are ridiculously accurate, despite a near manga style. I already stated in my review of the previous series, I don’t understand how that even works, but I’m here for it. The characters that cross over from the live action series are instantly recognizable, and the new characters are unique and memorable.

GLOW vs. The Babyface is a slick little book that fits right into the continuity of the Netflix series, and also seems like it flows right out of the conclusion of the last IDW GLOW mini-series.

If you didn’t know this was a different writing team, you’d be hard pressed to figure it out. I absolutely love the references to Jake Roberts, Randy Savage, and Roddy Piper, but there’s plenty of meat on the bone for casual readers who have absolutely zero professional wrestling foreknowledge.

GLOW vs. The Babyface, IDW Publishing, released 20 November 2019. Written by Aimee Garcia and AJ Mendez, art by Hannah Templer, color by Rebecca Nalty, letters/design by Christa Miesner, edited by Elizabeth Brei and Megan Brown, group editor Bobby Curnow, executive producers Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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