PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of GLOW #1 from IDW Publishing. Available March 27th, 2019, the creative team for this issue features writing from Tini Howard, art from Hannah Templer, colors by Rebecca Nalty, and lettering from Christa Miesner.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
Main Cover Artist: Hannah Templer
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling are ready to take on the world—or at least LA—in this comic based on the hit Netflix series!
When the unthinkable happens and the women of GLOW find themselves ahead of schedule, Sam ruins the promise of a wrestling-free weekend with… more wrestling! Robbed of blissful relaxation and forced to raise money to fund their way to the event, the GLOW team is less-than-prepared for their opponents: real gorgeous lady wrestlers. What could possibly go wrong?!
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
The cast of Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling has their excitement for a weekend off dashed when they’re told to attend a fan wrestling convention in Reseda. How will they get there? What will they do? Why are they going? Is she OK? (She’s on pain meds). Take an arm drag and a few bumps with the entire cast of GLOW.
Does Tini Howard write for the show? I had to check after reading this, so well did she capture the voice of every character. She should. She gets them. The way they interact, what makes them work. She gets the world of wrestling (on both sides of Kayfabe) and she knows how to cram a lot into a single issue.
The strong, well-defined female leads of Assassanistas and Euthanauts meet the razor humor and precision timing of Rick and Morty in this book that could have easily just been a “by the numbers” comic book version of a licensed property. A run of the mill cash-in. Nope. This is an original tale with a, b, and c plots that all work and enough nods to the characters’ deeper workings that each could get their own miniseries or one-shot.
The balance and ability to keep it all under control and tight is a superhuman ability with a cast this big and diverse and what’s more, it handles the trickier aspects of stereotypes with even more smarts and respects than the show does.
Was it Hannah Templer’s work on Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions that made her an awesome choice for a book set in all the glory of the 1980s? Was it the diversity or comedic timing of Samurai Jack? Whatever it was, Templer does a job that would make Los Bros Hernandez swell with pride with her strong sequential work in this issue.
Juggling such a large cast with distinctive looks and still being able to take the story where it needs to be is handled so well by Templer that you’d think she was a 40-year veteran. What’s played for laughs lands every time. There’s a fluid animation feel to the way the book reads visually and the attention to detail on things such as background and character design impresses like a reverse 450 splash from the top turnbuckle.
On a book that draws so heavily on the pastel ‘80s color is everything. Stir that up with the colorful world of wrestling and it goes double. But Rebecca Nalty has it covered. The perfect blend of feeling real in a cartoon world is something she excels at on Heavy Vinyl. Here she gets to turn the volume up on that and have a wild amount of fun doing it. It’s a sense of fun so well-conveyed it becomes infectious to the reader and almost steals the whole show.
Christa Miesner is part of IDW’s reliable stable of in-house letterers that work consistently because their work is so consistent. Holding strong without overshadowing the rest of the creative team her letter work creates a deceptive amount of space in the panel, so much so that you’ll not easily notice how dialogue-driven some scenes are. Her effects work isn’t over-designed. They’re just perfect in application and comedic timing. Do yourself a favor and take a minute to appreciate the level of distinction she gives to the design of lettering. She uses a different style or color for Sheila compared to, say, Machu Pichu’s ZZZZZ’s. That’s work from somebody who’s invested in the story and not just clocking in and out.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
Not just a faithful adaptation of the Netflix hit, GLOW is an outright extension that could easily be a leaked script for season 3. The all-female creative team is perfect for this book; they seize every moment and powerbomb it with laughs, story, character, and truth. If you don’t watch the show, you will still enjoy everything about this debut issue. If this first issue is any indication, you’ll enjoy the entire series that will follow.