"Glitterbomb #4" 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 December 7th, 2016
After murdering her former co-star, Cliff Stadden, Farrah Durante shows up to the man's high-profile Hollywood memorial service. That sounds far worse than it is, as this guy was a real douchebag. He was the kind of scum that this town is known for. Additionally, Farrah wasn't exactly herself when it happened. There's a hideous monster lurking within her and it's awfully hungry. It's feeding off of the fame-seeking shallow folks in Tinsel Town and it's about to sit down for a feast at this gala.
Glitterbomb exposes the dark underbelly of Hollywood that we all know is there, but ignore to dive into popcorn-friendly summer blockbusters. For every successful film franchise, there are a dozen people that have been plowed down and destroyed in its wake. The book has been leading up to this point, with Farrah's exploits getting bigger and bigger.
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Just in case you had any doubt about the types of people attending this memorial, we get some flashbacks showing just how horrible they all are. This is framed beautifully, showing them greeting Farrah openly (for the most part) in the present, and then failing to support her after Cliff had sexually assaulted her in the past. It's a powerful storytelling device that works very well here. This is mirrored by like-minded people that Farrah also meets at the party. These folks are just as fed up as she is (along with the monster lurking within her).
Each of these shots are shown as a close-up of the individual. Artist Djibril Morissette-Phan conveys so much emotion in these little snapshots. He goes through everything from disgust and contempt to fear and satisfaction. K. Michael Russell's colors for these panels work well, giving the flashback shots the feel of an old photograph.
All of this is built up to a complete bloodbath. That should come as no surprise given the story so far. Morissette-Phan has outdone himself with this scene. There is a two-page spread that is breathtaking in its chaotic destruction. Pointed tendrils whip across the page, stabbing and tearing at people left and right. It's the kind of image that you can look at for a few minutes and still discover more mayhem. There are at least three beheadings, including a close-up shot of one noggin flying through the air with an eye hanging out. Morissette-Phan shows a real talent by balancing the emotional beats of the story with the gory bloodshed.
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The real terror of Glitterbomb settles in with the aftermath of this sequence. Although we're dealing with literal monsters, the people and the dysfunction that Hollywood creates is far scarier. There's a somber moment right after that allows you to really feel the gravitas of the situation. This is immediately followed by a scene that makes you realize that some things never change.
Glitterbomb is a scathing look at fame and our quest for it. It's a comic that could not be hitting at a better time, where people are less concerned with showcasing their talent and more interested in becoming famous. I wish Kim Kardashian would read this book. I could sell it on the fact that it has pictures. Speaking of, the artwork is pitch perfect, walking the fine line between emotion-filled scenes of drama and gore-filled segments of monstrous carnage. Plus, it leaves off with a cliffhanger where you just have to find out what happens next.