There are only a handful of issues left for "Glory," but "Glory" #31 is a firm reminder that Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell have kept it inventive, surprising and entertaining ever since they took the title. With each new twist and turn, the only thing that's been certain is that anything and everything can happen here.
This issue, for example, is full of little surprises. As Glory and her sister Nanaja lead an assault on her father's base, it's easy for reader to think they know where it's heading. There's going to be a big fight, lots of fists flying -- that sort of thing. Instead it's a large helping of waffles and a positively civilized discussion. While Keatinge always catches readers slightly unaware in that regard, it never feels out of place or strange. Rather, there's a certain tone in his script that makes something as out-of-the-blue as a love for a sandwich press just as easy to swallow as a monstrous Knight of Thule laying waste to thousands of people in the blink of an eye.
With that in mind, Keatinge serves up another glimpse of the future, with Riley facing an unknown opponent in a fight to the death. The easy assumption is that it's Glory (and will no doubt turn out to be her in the series finale) but I appreciate that Keatinge has thrown enough curveballs already that if we get an 11th hour twist, I wouldn't mind. Regardless of how it ends, though, each turn and revelation has felt so satisfying that I have strong confidence in the remaining issues.
Campbell draws half of this issue, the portions set in the present day. His art looks good as always; nice rounded characters, and his sense of proportion is dead-on strong. I love that we get characters like Riley in contrast to Glory; Riley's small frame seems positively dwarfed next to Glory's massive bulk and it makes Glory feel that much larger and powerful. Ulises Farinas tackles the flashbacks to the fall of Thule, and he's a good choice to step in for those pages. While his art is a little more angular and stiff-lined than Campbell's, I feel like he follows through in Campbell's overall vision for the book. The huge monstrous character designs that Campbell has come up with always look great, and Farinas carries through that feel in his pages with great aplomb.
I appreciate that "Glory" #31 could reveal that a dead character was in fact alive and it's not only the least central thing about the book, but the revelation feels rather normal instead of any sort of cheat. That's part of what's so much fun about this comic; anything can happen, and it often does. Keatinge and Campbell have done a great job of turning this comic into something special, and I know I won't be the only one to miss it when it's gone.