Advance Review: Death Or Glory #1 Is A High-Octane Heist On 4 Wheels

by Olly MacNamee

It feels like I’ve been seeing this book, and hearing about it, all over the place recently, so I thought I’d best give it a read ahead of its publication next Wednesday May 2nd. And, I’m glad I did. Rick Remender and Bengal deliver a high-octane heist on four wheels but with a heart at its centre that’ll have you rooting for our have-a-go hero, the eponymous Glory Owen, by the end of the first issue.
Engineer, mechanic, last of a dying breed, Glory is stuck with the kind of dilemma felt by many, I imagine, in an America where medical expenses can be crippling. Where to get the money to pay for his mounting debt and his much needed, life-saving surgery? If this was set in the UK, there’d be no story, there would be the National Health Service and free healthcare for all! And you have people in The Colonies who think this is a bad thing? Now that, I can’t get my head ’round.

Still, with a dying father needing a new liver, Glory must look to illicitly gain the required monies for his surgery. Luckily, there’s crooked cops and mean looking mobsters to rip off to get the job done. And, after some soul searching –  beautifully presented without a single word of dialogue over three pages, by Bengal –  Glory hits the road to take care of business.
Glory has lived off the grid most of her life, and being brought up by her dad, simply known even to her as ‘Red’, his  influences have rubbed off on her enough that she is one mean hombre behind a wheel, and underneath the bonnet too. Just don’t tell her about the mysterious, murderous mobster with a freeze ray. And a hunger for burgers, it would seem. A hunger that’d make Wimpy blush.

To pull off the suggestion of speed – something absolutely necessary for this comic series to work – and varied speeds too, I might add, you have to have a keen eye and a formidable talent. Bengal has both in spades as he creates the sense of a high speed car chase across the dusty landscape with the right perspectives being applied to widescreen panels, as well as the right amount of smoke and dust, and also a judicious use of speed lines that really add drama to the book. And, if that doesn’t sell you (fast cars, freeze rays and gangsters? What’s NOT to like?) the quagmire Glory is getting herself entangled in will.
There’s more than enough danger piling up by the end of this issue to make you want to come back next month and see how she gets herself out of this. We feel her pain, her predicament and the tough choices she has to make to try and save her father. But I can’t see her driving away from her problems, even at high speed. But, I wanna know if she does. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Death or Glory #1 is out next Wednesday May 2nd, 2018 from Image Comics.

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