Death or Glory #1
Written By Rick Remender
Art by Bengal
Published by Image Comics
Released May 2, 2018
Death or Glory is Rick Remender’s latest entry in his long line of Image Comics titles. The books debut issue gives us a fun high-octane look into a series that is best described as the Dukes of Hazard meets The Fast and Furious series with a sprinkle of Baby Driver.
Just like any first issue of a new series the book has a lot of heavy lifting to do in terms of introducing us to a cast of characters, a setting, and the tone of the series. Remender is no amateur when it comes to this setup and it definitely shows in the issue as we spend the next 40 pages getting to know not just the lead character, Glory Owen, but also the surrounding world as a whole.
One of the best parts of the book is its opening scene in which we are introduced to two local fast food workers attempting to close shop for the night when a mysterious man with white hair, pale skin, greenish yellow eyes, and a trenchcoat appears with a weird request. From the moment the character appears, he’s incredibly unsettling and gives off a creepy vibe which is only amplified by his request of “one hundred and thirty-three cheeseburgers”. The book’s action begins to kick in when the Nameless man’s request is met with resistance from the two workers who were clearly attempting to close down for the night. In a scene that seems ripped straight from an 80’s sci-fi film, the man whips out a hose and sprayer quickly dispatching and killing a patron attempting to help the two young men with the unruly man. He then gives the two young men another opportunity to fulfill his request before using his liquid nitrogen weapon on the two boys as well. Honestly, he felt like a cross between Mr. Freeze and Dr. Brenner from Stranger Things which in-and-of itself is an interesting combination.
The book continues on to introduce us to the series main character Glory Owen. When we meet Miss Owen for the first time she is building a car in a garage known as “Red’s Happy Place”. The next few pages do a fantastic job of establishing Glory’s personality and filling the reader in about her life. We learn that Glory was raised to live wild and free without the pursuit of money and the entanglements that money can bring. She was raised to value family and the relationships that you establish with people. As we learn about Glory’s backstory it also becomes very clear that Ms. Owen is up to something. We learn that Glory was raised by a man named Red who taught her just about everything she knows and raised her like she was his own, and now Red is sick. According to Glory, doctors say they have a week to get him a new liver and this is where Glory’s plan comes into play. I won’t completely spoil the book for you but I will say that her plan involves robbing some very powerful and very well-connected gentlemen who are definitely going to be gunning for her throughout the series once they find out what she’s done. In her attempt to rob these powerful people, Glory realizes she may have uncovered something more sinister and quite possibly have bitten off more than she can chew. It seems like saving Red and the family that Glory has built is gonna be her main motivation in the series and if y’all don’t already know, I’m always here for a good father-daughter story. I can also tell that family in general and the connections that we make will also be one of the book’s central themes.
Death or Glory so far is such a beautifully vivid world that at times you can almost smell the beer-soaked floorboards of the Rowdy Rooster, the bar where Glory hangs out with other free-spirited road warriors or the burned rubber from Glory’s getaway car. Remender does a pretty good job of laying it all out there on who these characters are personality-wise and each decision that they make all seems to be adding to the shit storm that they’re creating. The book features some of the most beautiful and vividly detailed art out right now and let me just say if this is Bengal on just the first issue then I can already tell that we are in for a treat on all of the issues to come. Bengal’s art is extremely cinematic and each panel feels like a shot from a film which might be why I love this book so much, as it feels like a combination of my two favorite things, comics and movies. The entire book reads and feels like all of the classic car chase films that many of us grew up with. Remender and Bengal in just one issue have proven that they are a duo to be reckoned with and I hope you’re all as excited as I am to continue down the high octane glory road that is Death or Glory.
Death or Glory earns an icy 10 out of 10 liquid nitrogen guns.