Indie Comics Spotlight: The Glory #1, TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1, and Control #1

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by Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)

The Glory #1


1

“So good to see you! Finally!”

Partners in crime typically share a very familial bond that transcends any other relationship. It’s that bond that allows them to operate and commit crimes so efficiently. Sometimes, though, things tend to fall apart and get dicey between the former partners. The Glory #1 takes a look at the fallout from one such relationship. The issue is written by Glenn Møane, illustrated by Tirso Llaneta, colored by Monte Thompson, and lettered by Sean Rinehart.

After several years in prison, Andy is finally out on parole, ready to build a new life for himself. But first he has to see Todd, his old partner in crime and the reason he went away. For weeks Todd has been begging for them to meet, claiming that he has something important to tell him. Andy reluctantly agrees.

Møane’s approach in The Glory is one that focuses on a slow-burn and it actually works really well. The interplay between Todd and Andy is rife with tension as Møane’s dialogue moves from an uneasy recognition to pure anger between the two. Møane uses that effectively in the pacing of the issue, accelerating their entire relationship for the duration of a single conversation into a pretty dramatic climax. That climax is a pretty solid payoff as well and the fact that Møane can pull it off with so few characters is pretty impressive as he leverages the built-in tension with such a situation to carry the scene further. And reading through the issue, Møane doesn’t tip his hand at all as to how things will end which keeps plenty of suspense in the air for the reader.

The artwork by Llaneta is very powerful. Andy and Todd are both illustrated as visual polar opposites of one another, in that Todd is significantly fitter and more menacing based on looks whereas Andy has dealt with image issues his whole life. Llaneta does a great job with facial expressions that emphasize some of the aforementioned tension and some of the more action-oriented sequences effectively capture the animosity between the two. The empty gutters also frame each panel as snapshots of an otherwise typical day at a bar save for Llaneta’s populating it with plenty of interesting characters. Thompson’s colors are predominantly reds and browns which underscore the otherwise depressed nature of the bar as the encounter between the two former partners goes down.

The Glory #1 is a strong one-shot that gets to the core of what makes people tick. Todd and Andy both committed crimes for whatever reason, yet at the end they both came to very different places as far as what they wanted to get out life. Møane relies on that dichotomy to drive the plot, presenting a very tense encounter between the two that ends in a fascinating way. Llaneta’s illustrations are very clean and refined, providing a strong visual representation of the meet. The Glory #1 is really worth checking out if for nothing else to experience the tension alone.

The Glory #1 is available now on comiXology.

TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1


2

“I’m going to tell you the story of his two most unlikely, and totally unwitting, saviors. Two people who will very nearly destroy all of reality…well, maybe I shouldn’t be throwing the word ‘people’ around.”

One of the best things to come out of the 80s was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Their unconventional origin story was cleverly leveraged throughout their universe, leading to the creation of plenty of other notable characters. Two of the most notable were Bebop and Rocksteady, both of whom get the star treatment in TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1 from IDW Publishing. The issue is written by Dustin Weaver; illustrated by Sophie Campbell, Dustin Weaver, Ben Bates, Giannis Milogiannis; colored by Bill Crabtree and Campbell; and lettered by Shawn Lee.

After their defeat in TMNT #50, the dull-witted Bebop and Rocksteady, everyone’s favorite warthog and rhino mutants, are feeling dejected and without purpose. However, when they stumble across a time-travel scepter, they realize that their craziest, most destructive adventure awaits! Will the universe survive?

It’s never easy to pull off a time-traveling tale, but that’s not going to stop Weaver in TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1. He does a great job of setting up the stakes for all involved, showing the Turtles in the present and then the titular Bebop and Rocksteady in both the present and past. Weaver’s pacing helps both stories converge on one point effectively, giving readers a chance to get to know all the characters. The dialogue also maintains the spirit of the characters well, from Michelangelo’s generally aloof (but humorous) comments to Bebop and Rocksteady’s more gruff take on life. The overarching time-travel plot is also given time to evolve as well, with Weaver not rushing into things and instead letting the characters drive the narrative.

The characters in question have a very distinct style and the art team capture that style perfectly. Each of the four artists manage to keep the art style pretty consistent throughout the entire issue. The Turtles sport the leaner look of more recent appearances and it works well when contrasting them against the mammoth Bebop and Rocksteady. And the pages showcasing the opponents fighting one another are very explosive and demonstrate the disparate fighting styles on both sides of the bout. Colors by Crabtree and Campbell are very clean and offer a somewhat muted look across the board.

TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1 is a really strong entry in the TMNT mythos that looks like it’s going to get pretty heady pretty quickly. Bebop and Rocksteady typically don’t get much chance to shine on their own, but it looks like they’ll have just that in this book. Weaver’s script is entertaining and moves the characters along well. There’s really four artists working on the book, but the overall quality doesn’t suffer because of it. TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1 is worth checking out for those looking to see Bebop and Rocksteady in a slightly new light that involves them traveling through time and space.

TMNT Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1 is in stores now.

Control #1


3

“Only thing you control is how you get there. Quick or slow.”

A detective’s life is one rife with paperwork and self-doubt. There are times when you think you made the right call and other times when the situation tends to get away from you. For Detective-Sergeant Kate Burnham, though, there’s plenty of opportunity for the latter as in Control #1 from Dynamite Comics. The issue is written by Andy Diggle and Angela Cruickshank, illustrated by Andrea Mutti, colored by Vladimir Popov, and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Detective-Sergeant Kate Burnham isn’t making any friends in the Washington, D.C. Police Department. That makes her the perfect scapegoat when a routine homicide investigation threatens to blow open a criminal conspiracy that reaches to the upper echelons of the D.C. power elite. Kate makes it go away, or they make her go away. Cop or criminal, power is all about control, applied top-down from the penthouse elite to the hustlers on the street. But what happens when the street pushes back…?

Diggle and Cruickshank waste no time in trying to suck the reader into the thick of things. In fact, the issue starts off with a pretty standard murder scenario, but Diggle and Cruickshank have a lot more in mind for Detective-Sergeant Kate Burnham as she navigates the politics of Washington, D.C. and her police force. The duo pace the story incredibly quickly, getting the set-up out of the way fast and diving right into the meat of the story itself. And Kate’s backstory is getting enough attention paid to it where the reader can start making inferences about her decision-making which will definitely have an impact on the direction of the story down the line. Diggle and Cruickshank clearly want to draw upon the scandal inherent in Washington, D.C. to further the narrative in a very intriguing way.

Mutti’s artwork is wonderfully understated, fitting within the confines of the police procedural tale being crafted. Characters sport a general lack of detail throughout that adds to the notion that there are great mysteries in everyday life beyond the ones police solve. Mutti’s characters are very expressive with their hands and facial expressions, reinforcing the prevailing sentiment on the page. The use of extensive cross-hatching also add a vague sense of foreboding – Mutti and the reader both know that things are going to get worse as they progress, but her artwork reinforces that notion. Popov takes this sense of dread one step further by largely relying on gray and black tones.

From the outset, Control #1 is tapping into a familiar narrative of the police procedural. Detective-Sergeant Kate Burnham is a no-nonsense detective who’s getting into a case that might be a lot more than she originally thought. Diggle and Cruickshank offer a script that plays out pretty familiar in the beginning of the tale, but clearly has grander ambitions at heart. Mutti’s artwork is pretty simple yet effective at conveying the guillotine hanging over the characters. Control #1 is a very strong first issue that’s laying the groundwork for something much more sinister.

Control #1 is in stores now.


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