"Glitterbomb #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Djibril Morissette-Phan
Colored by K. Michael Russell
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 7th, 2016
I can't imagine what it must be like to work as an actor in Hollywood. An actress has it even tougher, as we've become a youth-obsessed culture, especially in the movie business. Farrah Durante hasn't given up hope though. Sure, she's middle-aged and she's got a kid, but she's still going out on auditions, looking for that next gig. When she gets passed over yet again, she stares out into the wide ocean, broken and frustrated...and something stares back. Now Farrah has a new problem. What is she going to do with the dead bodies that keep showing up nearby?
Glitterbomb does not hide the fact that there's a monster lurking inside Farrah. This is revealed on the second page in a brilliant and shocking way. It's the kind of hook that will pull you in before you have time to pick your jaw up off the floor. The true nature of this creature and why it's so bloodthirsty is not yet revealed. How it comes into contact with Farrah is presented in a gorgeous double-page spread from artist Djibril Morissette-Phan. Farrah is underwater, shown in silhouette with a greenish light above her. Tendrils ending in sharp talons curl around her body. A series of small square panels show close-ups of specific areas such as her left eye, wide and in shock or her mouth open as if to scream.
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This is not the first time that silhouette is used. It's done sparingly, but each time is very effective. There's something unsettling about seeing a set of tendrils popping out of a woman's face in shadow. You don't see all the gritty details so your mind is filling in all the blood and gore.
Morissette-Phan's design for Farrah is welcoming. She looks like a normal, everyday woman, which is a little strange given her choice of profession. This makes her more relatable though. She could be your sister or your cousin. She has a no bullshit attitude with a drive to further her career at any cost. This makes her transformation all the more shocking. It's not something that affects her entire body, just her face. It's something that pops out suddenly and without warning, quickly turning her from a mild-mannered single mom into a deadly killing machine.
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One of the best panels in Glitterbomb is a shot of Farrah arriving home after her experience in the water. She's a mess and her clothes are covered in blood. There's a look of desperation on her face as she forces a smile and hopes that her babysitter doesn't kill her for being so late. Seeing an average mother disheveled with blood stains all over her clothes with such an expression provides a bit of comic relief. Colorist K. Michael Russell makes this stand out, which causes it to look even more unnatural on Farrah.
Glitterbomb seamlessly pulls you into the world of Farrah Durante to the point where you let out a little cheer when the monster inside her straight-up murders someone. The beast is still shrouded in mystery and I'm intrigued by what its plans are for Hollywood. I can only imagine the amount of dead bodies it will leave in its wake. The big score on this book is Djibril Morissette-Phan and his amazing artwork. It reminds me a bit of Sean Gordon Murphy, which is definitely a compliment. If this is how he's starting out, I can't wait to see what else he has coming down the line, not only for this comic, but for his career.