Glory #23 (Image)
Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell’s first issue of Glory works for a lot of reasons. Let’s examine Campbell’s presentation of the heroine here. What first attracts attention is the size of Glory’s arms as Campbell’s use of scars (tattoos?) adds even further definition to their muscular build. This immediately brings forwards ideas of mascuilinity; we assume women with this kind of definition must be taking testosterone.
Keatinge shoots down these assumptions throughout the narrative. Before we get into all of that, where do we expect her super strength to come from? We’re so used to Superman tossing boulders around with arms the size of, say, The Rock (zing?) that we forgot that, realistically, super strength takes abnormally large muscles. In spite of this, Keatinge goes to great length to establish Glory’s femininity.
While Glory’s discussion with Supreme about her role is a little heavy handed, it’s important because it establishes her as the alternative heroine to oh, I don’t know, something like this? This conversation allows her to present her mission statement as a superhero while establishing her desire for independence as a heroine.
Keatinge’s use of Riley Barnes solidifies Glory’s femininity and foreshadows it’s importance in the series. Instead of focusing too heavily on Glory’s background, Keatinge focuses on Riley’s search to find Glory. Through dreams, she experiences Glory’s story up to this point and, when the story stops abruptly, it consumes her until she realizes that she must continue the narrative on her own. Discovering the mystery behind Glory’s disappearance is essential to Riley’s coming-of-age. This link between Glory’s narrative and Riley’s maturation establishes the importance of femininity in Keatinge and Campbell’s take on the character.
Side note: Don’t ever search for “Glory” on tumblr unless you’re looking for the anonymous sex tool.