Welcome back to Imagocalypse with another new #1 and ongoing series from the ever growing publisher Image comics. Oversaturation is a bit of an understatement with a new series hitting shelves on an almost consistent weekly basis, but it’s hard to pass it all off as a bad thing when so many of them are compelling and written by current comic A list writers. Rick Remender (Tokyo Ghost, Low, Seven to Eternity) is back for Death or Glory #1, and while I wonder if he’s a robot or something with his ability to simultaneously write such good content, I soak up everything he does with excitement. Death or Glory moves away from his typical fantasy style and brings him into the real world in what looks like current time, so we’re already shaking things up from his usual template. So, with little doubt, I’m sure yet another Image #1 will come out of the gates swinging.
Death or Glory takes place in Yuma, Arizona, depicted as a somewhat final frontier for the American dirt road. Bikers, mechanics, truckers, and all car driving enthusiasts gather here to live away from the grid, living off the grit and grime of it all. It feels disjointed from the law and like many movies, comics, games, etc. of this style everything really kind of governs itself, and so, so much its people. Glory is tough, battle hardened and isn’t afraid to get dirty if she needs to, so as her father lives his final days on his deathbed in need of a life saving surgery they can’t afford, Glory takes to the road to steal from those who have wronged them in the past. It quickly becomes clear that these ‘victims’ of Glory’s desperate heists are no saints, rather it’s fairly obvious that they’re pretty much scumbags, but the extent of their scumbaggery extents further beyond Glory’s expectations and she quickly finds herself in over her head. As she stumbles upon something far more dangerous than she was ever willing or planning to find, she’s stuck in an awkward position, and now she has to get out alive.
Death or Glory is a strangely captivating comic, and that’s primarily due to Remender’s work. Similarly to Low, it’s hard to put this comic book down once you’ve started. Every piece of dialogue feels vital to the story, and although Bengal is a godly artist himself, Remender has an amazing ability to bring out an incredible amount of emotion in the characters demeanor and faces to pair up with his dialogue. Additionally, Glory is really cool. Remender does a great job in making awesome protagonists out of regular characters, and although Glory is a rough and tumble street kid, she’s vulnerable and inexperienced in many ways. She’s damn good at driving and outskilling her competition, but the risk and the moral questionability of her actions take an obvious toll on her, and that makes for a way more interesting character than most comic book characters today. Death and Glory is not my genre, and yet it’s an obviously special comic book. Don’t sleep on this or anything Rick Remender’s doing, the dude’s in his prime.
(5 / 5)