In this issue, Mr. Glum takes over the earth. But he makes one crucial mistake, one small off-hand remark, which may end up costing him dearly.
Mr. Glum is a foot-and-a-half tall alien guy who happens to be close friends with Savage Dragon’s adopted daughter. He comes from a bizarre alternate dimension, and is one of those evil geniuses who are always looking to take over the world. In this issue, Mr. Glum actually has taken over the world, and he’s ordered everyone on the Earth to do what he tells them to do. It’s every arch-villain’s dream come true, and it has the potential to wreak untold havoc on Earth.
This issue continues that feeling of casual intensity that Erik Larsen has plumbed since his return to this comic several months ago. On one hand, the situations are frightening and intense, the characters are in real peril, and there’s a tremendous feeling that literally anything can happen in an issue. On the other hand, the whole thing has a casual feel to it that almost makes the book’s events feel off-handed. The artwork is loose and sketchy, sometimes undefined and blotchy, while the lettering is loose and honestly kind of unprofessional. The whole thing has a way of making the comic feel like a glorified fanzine, a real labor of love that Larsen might create if he weren’t being paid for the book. In many comics, such a loose feel might make the comic feel unprofessional or undisciplined. Here, however, the looseness of the art and storytelling actually add to the story. The first time I read this issue, I was shocked by the clever twist that Larsen dishes up. On rereading, I caught the casual little moment that might change everything.
There are a lot of funny moments in this issue (Kill-Cat trying to get a pony is really clever), but the best moment is an awesome little twist in the final panel. Aww yeah, what a perfect ending.
There are crises and wars in this comic, but in the hands of Erik Larsen, they mean something in context, and flow out of the characters in this wonderful comic book.