GLOW vs The Babyface #1
Take a group of women that haven't made it big in the world of professional wrestling, throw in a couple of actresses who haven't landed their career-defining roles yet, add a failed film director who's desperate to make money and you have the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling, better known to the world at large as GLOW!!
Long before February 23, 2015, another group of ladies started a women’s revolution in pro wrestling. They were the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling or simply GLOW. This was another case where something that wasn’t supposed to invade the pop culture landscape of the 1980s. With their over the top (even for wrestling!) characters and costumes, these ladies wrestled and rapped their way into almost every household with a television. This series, and the excellent Netflix series that it’s based on following the early days of GLOW and how these ladies turned women’s wrestling into a household name. This mini-series follows the girls as they deal with learning how to cut a promo, troubled love-lives and a surprise guest that’s stowed away at their headquarters. Authors Aimee Garcia & AJ Mendez weave a very interesting story that features some behind the scenes lessons in what goes on behind the curtain involving a professional wrestling show. Well, a professional wrestling show in the ’80s. I’m guessing it might be a little bit different today. Honestly, once you’re about 2 pages into the book, you really don’t remember that this story is set in the ’80s, with the exception of some big hair and a couple of Miami Vice looking sports coats and that’s a really big part of its charm. The story is timeless, literally. There are a few different stories being told in this issue, and I’m happy to say that none of them are shortchanged in any way. They’re all allowed to “breathe”, they’re all given time to develop some of the characters and they’re all steered so that they end in cliffhangers to be dealt with next issue.
As someone who was a kid in the ’80s and actually watched GLOW, this book, like the series, is an absolute treat. No raping of childhoods here. In my mind, I can see these stories actually taking place with the GLOW wrestlers between the episodes and it actually adds to my fond memories of GLOW. I think this comic works so well because it combines both in-ring and “real life” stories. In my opinion, if the authors had leaned hard into one of the other, it would’ve been a good comic, but the story they’re telling makes it a pretty great comic.
Let’s talk for a minute about the art. It’s my own personal taste, but I’m NOT a fan of the anime/manga style at all. Don’t like the big eyes, the lines around the face that portray emotion, the wide-open mouths that emphasize extreme emotion and the overly simple portrayal of anatomy and still like objects. But here’s the part where I have to eat my words because, in this book, that style of art actually works. Artist Hannah Templar’s style isn’t totally manga, but it’s definitely influenced by that style. I’d be hard-pressed to think of another artist that I’d like to see draw this series, Templar is a perfect fit for this comic.
If you're not a die-hard wrestling fan or a fan of the Netflix series, don't worry. You're going to get a heart-warming, interesting, and funny story that's a pleasure to look at.
GLOW vs The Babyface #1: Super Pop
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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