A comic reading experience like nothing you expected… Your Major Spoilers review of Glitterbomb #1 awaits!
Previously in Glitterbomb: “Farrah Durante is a middle-aged actress hunting for her next gig in an industry where youth trumps experience. Her frustrations become an emotional lure for something horrifying out beyond the water… something ready to exact revenge on the shallow celebrity-obsessed culture that’s led her astray…”
ONE UTTERLY *AMAZING* OPENING SCENE
Lots of stories want to hit you right up front with the best scene. The “Open with a shock then go back and fill in the blanks” routine is almost a cliché at this point, but this issue manages to pull it off without a hitch. In fact, the opening sequence of this book contains a shock moment as successful as any I can remember, opening with lead character Farrah in her agent’s office, listening as he berates her for not being young enough, beautiful enough or having “something we can sell”, before…
…a moment that I’m unwilling to spoiler. Suffice to say that it works incredibly well, and our story cuts back six hours to find Farrah waiting for word on an audition. Her interaction with a younger actress is a lovely, economical study of her character, telling us volumes about Farrah, her background and her current situation, leading to the younger actress declaring her ‘$&#@ing ancient.’
SOME ROUGH EDGES IN THE ART
The downside of the whole sequence comes in the fact that Morrissette-Phan draws Farrah and her younger counterpart as nearly identical throughout the sequence, with certain panels of their back-and-forth only defining the characters by the color of their eyes. I’d have said there was a satirical point being made with the faces, until we later meet Farrah’s babysitter, who has nearly the same facial features. The range of expression in the faces is quite broad and well-drawn, though, and all the characters in the issue are fascinating to look at, so it’s not a game-breaking complaint. When Farrah decides to end it all and walk into the ocean, the two-page spread that follows is utterly beautiful and utterly terrifying, a difficult proposition to pull off. Zub’s script is well-paced, and the dialogue very natural throughout the issue, leaving me with a story that is engaging and successful as a horror story.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A GOOD OPENING SALVO
The horror in this story is NOT quiet, and Farrah’s… interaction with a homeless man after washing ashore is one of the more terrible things I’ve read in comics, so I will caution that this book is a full-bore Hollywood horror story, and not for the faint of heart. That said, Glitterbomb #1 makes a great first impression, with a strong story that overcomes some wobbles in the art, beautiful production values, and most of all, a hook that leaves me wanting more, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. This issue feels like a lost property from the era of darkest Vertigo Comics, and I’m 100% sold on reading more…