The women of GLOW are the hardest working gorgeous ladies of wrestling, so when they have a weekend off, they relax and make the best of it. Right? NOT! The director of GLOW has booked them for a show, but it looks like they might not survive the performance! Find out more in GLOW #1, based off the hit Netflix series, from IDW Publishing.
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Hannah Templer
Letters: Christina Miesner
Cover: Hannah Templer
Alternate Covers: Nicoletta Baldari, Jenn St-Onge, Paulina Ganucheau
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: March 27th, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in GLOW: With a history stretching back to the mid-eighties, GLOW (aka Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) has been one of the longest running female wrestling promotions. Originally started by David McLane in 1986, it eventually made its way to television and lasted for four seasons. Later, it was bought by Ursula Hayden who set-up and promoted various pay-per-views and participated in a 2012 documentary about the promotion. She is currently a consultant for the Netflix series based on the promotion.
LET’S GET READY TO FUMBLE!!!!!
Being part of a wrestling promotion is not the same as having a nine-to-five job. You cannot be guaranteed a clock out time, you cannot call in sick, and you cannot be guaranteed a day off. If you are not practicing your moves, you are promoting yourself and the show, making props and costumes, or figuring out how to make some extra money. When the calendar shows a weekend off, the wrestlers of GLOW get excited and start making plans. Some wrestlers, such as Melanie “Melrose” Rosen, plan to have a party. Others, such as Tammi “The Welfare Queen” Dawson, are having dental work done. In fact, the options are endless. Carmen “Machu Pucchu” Wade sees a chance to attend Wrestlefest, a gathering of wrestlers held in Reseda. The possibilities are endless, until GLOW director Sam Sylvia breaks the news that they will be working, and they will be working the Wrestlefest show! Due to some sponsors cancelling on their show, thanks to Cherry “Black Magic” Bang and a water hose deluge, the women will even have the opportunity to pay their own way! Yay! Seventy-Five dollars apiece is what room and board will run, and it is due by Friday. Oh, and it is mandatory.
What follows is a rush of creative ingenuity as the wrestlers try and figure out ways to raise money. Solutions range from putting on a wrestling show in the park, to a bake sale (with Melrose’s special brownies) a trivia contest, even collecting rewards! Everything is great until Carmen realizes that they will have to wrestle in front of, quote, real wrestlers, unquote. To add to the drama, they discover another female promotion is on the scene, and the center ring will be their proving grounds!
TO KAYFABE OR NOT TO KAYFABE…
Spinning off from the hit Netflix series, this first issue of GLOW contains characters who made that series a hit. It is a good fix for fans of the show, as Tini Howard (Assassinistas, Rick and Morty) takes on the lives of the wrestlers outside of the ring in this issue, and brings the comedy to a great level. She makes an effort to give each of the wrestlers, overall, a little page time and a chance to showcase their personas, while weaving a coherent story which entertains and makes you wonder what is coming next. There are some nice scenes, and some of the best moments go to the character of Carmen “Machu Pucchu” Wade as she tries and balance her excitement of going to the Wrestlefest show with considering herself, and her fellow lady wrestlers, as less than the men in attendance. It makes for a nice commentary on the feeling of imposter syndrome many creative feel, and I look forward to seeing her tackle it in the next issue.
Artwork is provided by Hannah Templer (Shadowman, Tomb Raider: Inferno) and it fits the voice and pacing set by Howard to a T. It must have been tempting to draw these characters as larger than life and twice as powerful, but her style just isn’t like that. She draws women in realistic women’s bodies, and it fits. The crux of the story revolves around Machu Pucchu feeling inferior to “real” wrestlers, and these softlines make for a wonderful expression of those feelings. Every character has their own distinct look, and she expresses the emotions in the script wonderfully.
BOTTOM LINE: FIVE TIMES, FIVE TIMES, FIVE TIMES THE FUN!
I have to admit I have not watched all of the Netflix series, but I do remember seeing the original GLOW on late night TV. It was over the top and full of larger than life characters that you just could not take seriously. That was okay because it was entertaining and fun. This issue brings back some of that over the top feeling, and combines it with the lives of the characters when they are not in the ring. It is entertaining, but not too deep. Pick it up if you need some light comedy with just a touch of borderline adult humor.