Written By: Jim Zub
Art By: Djibril Morissette-Phan & K. Michael Russell
Published By: Image
Glitterbomb! Is! Back! All of those explanation points mean you should be just as happy as I am.
The cool thing about Glitterbomb is that it’s set up in very distinct arcs. The first one with Farrah going murder-monster is over; she is out of the picture for good. What comes next is a police investigation, and more importantly, Kaydon getting her wish. Remember her? She was Farrah’s babysitter and wannabe movie star. As it turns out, knowing the person who killed a room full of celebrities is going to get your name in the papers, on TV, and on the internet. Of course, celebrity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
That there is a supernatural element still on the loose muddles what sounds like a fairly easy-to-grasp “Be careful of what you wish for” plot.
However, this is a Jim Zub book, so plot isn’t all that important. He’s a character writer. The plot is merely a sandbox for a whole bunch of toys, some of which include: Kaydon’s struggle with fame, a new agent’s gross willingness to capitalize on the deaths of his friends, Kaydon’s mother who is absolutely awesome, an LAPD officer breaking some rules, and a host of Kaydon’s classmates, both good and not-so-good.
It’s honestly a dense issue that doesn’t feel dense at all. All of the character work–dialogue, actions, reactions, motivations, etc–feels real. I absolutely buy the slimy talent agent, and I absolutely buy Kaydon’s mother grounding her daughter into next year instead of celebrating her first T.V. appearance. These are all people reacting to a tragedy in a different way, because as Jim mentions in the afterword, Farrah’s murder-monster spree comes with ripples.
Those ripples come with a slight shift in tone. There are less horror elements at play in this issue, though I’m certain this’ll only be a short reprieve from them. Still, the tension doesn’t come from Farrah and her monster but Kaydon’s dramatic shift in life style. Watching her walk to her locker the next day and seeing everyone stare at her, begin to spread rumors, and in general act like high schoolers is its own brand of eerie.
To be honest, I like the shift. Glitterbomb isn’t a one-note story.
Djibril Morissette-Phan and K. Michael Russell match Jim’s storytelling chops beat for beat. Without the gorefests, we’re left with big scenes that involve a lot of visual emotion, from nuanced facial expressions to heavy body language. They do a fantastic job at selling Kaydon’s elation, nervousness, and shock all in one, and they do it with some really engaging panel layouts to boot.
The first arc of Glitterbomb was fantastic, a gross, horrifying look at Hollywood and what that environment can do to a person. This second arc is off to a great start, ready to tackle similar themes but from a completely new angle. I am so, so happy this book is back.