Joe Glass returns with the penultimate issue of The Pride, his LGBT title that proved to be a pretty strong all round title in those first 4 issues (reviewed here).
While it’s already been set-up to be a superhero team book with a difference the broader themes being explored are far more real…….even more so given recent developments in Ireland’s approach to same sex marriage. Issue #5 opens with a funeral for their fallen friend and the whole team have been rocked by recent events resulting in a spectrum of reactions.
The pain of loss takes many forms with revenge drifting into the mix alongside the need to find solace in someone’s arms or getting back into training to focus that anger but the truth behind their loss comes to light. Reverend Basher provides a face to the prejudice they all face from the general public but the depth of his hatred and the darker plot he has in motion gives this a typical good vs evil vibe. The team all seem very separate as they cope with things but the final reveal in the last few panels will surely give rise to a final battle in issue #6.
While the superhero/supervillain elements are fairly run-of-the-mill, the characters that Joe has created are as varied as I’ve seen in any comic book team and that’s even outwith the LGBT elements they each represent. A team in the purest form of the world as they accept each others differences, their flaws & everything in between which is in perfect sync with what’s trying to be achieved. A book of acceptance and with a message that still has an action-packed, superhero tale at it’s core.
The team for this issue is just as broad as the styles of Kendall Goode, JD Faith, Gavin Mitchell, Jack Davies, Christian Wildegoose & Marc Ellerby mix well across the issue to vary each section and keep the pace consistent with no jarring differences. The feel of this issue is finished off with colours by Ben Wilsonham & lettering by Mike Stock giving the whole package a clean, polished finish. This fifth issue feels like the best yet and builds upon the success of the previous issues particularly well to make this a must-read for any & all comic fans. Some folks won’t take the plunge because of it’s themes but it doesn’t treat those as abnormal & instead manages to keep things very controlled in terms of tone while mixing in the typical elements of humour, action & mystery well.