By Ben Snyder
Glitterbomb- The Fame Game #2 picks up almost exactly after the first issue and does a great job of setting up the rest of the arc while also offering biting commentary on the nature of fame in our current society and almost perfectly capturing the psyche of a troubled teenage girl. However, its struggles in deciding on what exactly to do with its protagonist hold this issue back from greatness.
It’s almost eerie how accurately Jim Zub writes the dialogue for Kaydon in The Fame Game, as it’s incredibly realistic and conceivable to how a teenage girl would act in this situation. Kaydon’s initial conversation with her mother seems like something I’ve heard in my own house as my sister responded to my parents with a simple ‘Kay.' Zub does a tremendous job of really showing Kaydon’s rebellion while also showing that she is good intentioned at heart.
After all, Kaydon has to genuinely believe that exploiting her connection to Farrah is the best way to provide for her family and that the people exploiting her are looking out for Kaydon’s best interest as well. Otherwise, the conflict between Kaydon’s mother and her just doesn’t work. Zub accurately depicts all of this, as Kaydon is hesitant to skip school for her agent, she desperately wants to please her mother despite the fact that she already stole her phone back.
Unfortunately, despite the realistic way in which Kaydon is portrayed she is just not that interesting as of yet. It seems as though Zub is more focused as of now on spotlighting Kaydon’s own exploiters specifically her lawyer and the anchor lady. Zub isn’t shy about displaying their intentions. The lawyer is shady and only cares about money, and the anchorwoman only cares about ratings. Zub makes it obvious just how little they actually care for Kaydon, and I think it works in the context of the overall story as Zub seems intent on critiquing this aspect of society more than actually progressing with Kaydon’s personal plot at least as of now. An encounter between the anchorwoman and a possessed female not entirely unlike Farrah foreshadows Kaydon’s eventual involvement in the plot, but as of now, she is merely inconsequential.
The unimportance of Kaydon is actually my greatest hesitation for this series moving forward. In the original Glitterbomb, Kaydon seemed like an afterthought as well, only really showing up to extort money and connections from Farrah. It hardly seemed like she was integral in the overall scheme of things and it still seems like she is guarded from the core plot mechanics. The sting at the end of the issue proves that she will be increasingly important but I am afraid it will feel forced, as it is so sudden. I actually feel that The Fame Game was almost entirely separate from the original series, starting with a brand new protagonist who’s possible only connection is watching the news report. But we shall see how the rest of the story plays out and as long as Zub doesn’t escape from his biting social commentary, the story should prove mostly entertaining.
Djibril Morissette-Phan’s line work is stellar in this issue especially when it comes to emotions on faces. A large part of this story hinges on the internal conflict present in Kaydon and Morissette-Phan nails the pained turmoil going on inside her. One specific instance was in the very beginning when Kaydon is looking at herself in the mirror and you can just slightly make out her awkward expression, showing just how uncomfortable Kaydon is in her own body. She is still a teen and perhaps even the fame is getting to her and distorting her perception of herself.
But Morissette-Phan’s true skills lie in her horror scenes. And the interrogation between the infected woman and the anchorwoman was exceptionally brutal and gorey. I can’t wait for the series to embrace these roots more as Morissette-Phan will be allowed to truly flex his muscles.
Glitterbomb- The Fame Game #2 struggles solely because of it’s protagonist. It’s not that Kaydon is given poorly written dialogue or poorly drawn; it’s just that Jim Zub hasn’t really done anything with her yet.
Glitterbomb: The Fame Game #2