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An interesting direction goes astray
on August 10, 2013
GLORY VOLUME 2: WAR TORN concludes the revival of Rob Liefeld's Amazonian heroine of the `90s. Back then, Glory was your typical Liefeld female - an anorexic swaybacked pin-up, strategically pumped full of silicone; however, Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell have turned her into a fearsome, physically imposing warrior more in line with her legacy. With this second volume, which collects issues 29 through 34, I was disappointed to learn that Keatinge and Campbell were wrapping up their run, as the first volume foreshadowed what I had assumed would be a much bigger storyline. In particular, the prophetic dreams of Glory's human friend Riley Barnes made it seem as if the storyline would run far into the future, and I was intrigued with how Keatinge would get there. Alas, what we saw in Volume 1 was narrative sleight-of-hand. The story appeared to be building into a war between Glory and her parents; however, Volume 2 picks up the pace and shifts gears, pitting Glory, her parents, her hell-raising younger sister Nanaja, and the rest of Liefeld's Image creations against a completely new threat that is only introduced near the middle of the book. While there were some indications of what was to come in Volume 1, it still reads as if the writers were asked to change the direction of the storyline at the last minute. The addressing of that threat was rushed, and the final chapter had me constantly wondering what in the world was going on; that is, until I read the last few pages and epilogue, which took me from confusion to annoyance.
Campbell's art remains consistent with what was in Volume 1, but I appreciated it more this time around - perhaps due to my increasing familiarity with his style. He does seem to become more comfortable drawing these characters as the series progresses. Other artists provide short segments for some issues. What I found particularly odd about the presentation of the material was that graphic violence and full frontal female nudity were okay, yet "adult" language was blacked out. Granted, Nanaja curses like a sailor, but the censoring almost seems like a joke, rather than something that was required of them.
The storyline had a very promising start, and it greatly expanded upon Glory's history and personality, but things really went downhill in the second volume.