"Glitterbomb: The Fame Game #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Djibril Morissette-Phan
Colored by K. Michael Russell
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on October 25th, 2017
Kaydon is in the spotlight. All she's ever wanted was to be famous and now she's gotten her wish at the cost of her employer, Farrah, murdering a bunch of celebrities at a memorial gala. Her mother doesn't understand this obsession and just wants her daughter to behave. That's not going to stop Kaydon from embracing her dreams, even if that means the dark force lurking nearby grows stronger and continues taking lives.
Even if there wasn't a monster in Glitterbomb: The Fame Game, it would still be a disturbing read. It takes a very harsh look at how we perceive fame and this new interest in being famous just for being famous. The people that prey in these circles are ruthless, churning out the latest craze for ratings and page views before moving onto the next thing.
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At first this is very exciting for Kaydon, then she sees the manipulation and the callousness involved. This isn't what she signed up for, but it's what she always wanted. This is a strange juxtaposition that comes to a head when Kaydon is reunited for a photo op with Farrah's young son. This poor kid is an orphan now and finds peace in a familiar face, even if it's in front of a camera. He asks the kinds of questions that any child would in such a crazy situation. It's heartbreaking for normal people, but it comes through as ratings gold for the TV producers.
Artist Djibril Morissette-Phan frames this beautifully. He captures the perfect mix of fame and tragedy. This is perhaps shown no better than in a double-page spread early on in the issue, showing Kaydon talking on her phone as she walks past a crime scene. One one half, you have her gleefully talking about her future, and on the other you've got cops looking over a body. This is the remnants of the victim at the end of the previous issue.
The monster in the original Glitterbomb shot out tendrils and decimated its victims. This one is more in the body horror realm, appearing almost like a normal person at first, then revealing unsettling claws for hands. The fingers are too long, creating an unnatural look. The clincher is the eyes that are almost entirely black which looks very otherworldly, as if peering out from an abyss. Oh wait, did I say the clincher was the eyes? Sorry, I forgot about the jaw that seems to unhinge to eat an entire human head in one bite. Morissette-Phan shows this in a gorgeous silhouette and colorist K. Michael Russell shows it in nothing but black and red.
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All of this violence pales in comparison to the horrible messages Kaydon receives on social media. This is the darker side of fame. Sure, everyone wants to talk to her, but not everyone is going to say nice things. The page is filled with tweets, texts, and Facebook comments telling Kaydon to kill herself or calling her horrible names. There are so many of them. The sheer amount is enough to send anyone over the edge. Take a second and be nice to someone online. It's not that hard.
Glitterbomb: The Fame Game ups the ante considerably with this issue. It runs the gamut of emotions, bouncing from happiness to sadness to utter despair. Along the way it takes a stop in terror and lingers there for a bit. What is impressive is how this series balances real world, everyday horror with supernatural monsters. In the end, it's tough to tell which one is more frightening.