Overview

Miss Fury #1

Review

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Miss Fury #1

Credits

  • Words: Rob Williams
  • Art: Jack Herbert
  • Colors: Ivan Nunes
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 3, 2013

Titillating period piece or modern pulp reinterpretation? Only time will tell if Miss Fury has the legs for Dynamite’s new ongoing series.

Despite a striking Alex Ross cover and Jack Herbert’s dynamic interiors, the jury is still out on Dynamite Entertainment’s most recent foray into the Golden Age of comics’ rich public domain. Helmed by writer Rob Williams (Cla$$war, 2000 A.D.), Miss Fury attempts to both update the pulp-influenced femme fatale, while remaining true to her roots.

Although her original comic strip ran for almost a decade, Marla Drake never had much of a back story. Very much the product of her pulp roots, like the Shadow and Batman before her, Miss Fury’s alter ego was a rich socialite dedicated to fighting crime and corruption in her city by donning a garish costume and striking fear into the hearts of evil-doers. After that though, her history is pretty much a blank slate.

With so much of her history unwritten, it’s a little disappointing that Williams doesn’t fully capitalize on the creative opportunities his character represents. Essentially a time travel piece (or maybe it’s an alternate history, who knows?), the opening chapter of the series repositions Miss Fury not as a pulp-era crimefighter taking down violent hoods and Nazi spy rings but as a brash cat burglar who steals for the thrill of the hunt. When compared to Mark Waid’s thoughtful and insightful approach to Dynamite’s latest relaunch of The Green Hornet, it’s a little disappointing to see Williams taking the easy way out. It’s as if he looked at Miss Fury’s resemblance to the modern Catwoman and her Bruce Wayne-esque origins and simply mashed them together.

Seemingly more content to drop the f-bomb whenever possible and setting a rather narrow (yet typically Dynamite) focus on Marla’s sexuality, Williams’ script suffers from jarring temporal transitions and a meandering plot. The audience is left with more questions than answers, which in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing but this is the first issue of the series. We shouldn’t be left scratching our heads thinking, “Well, it looks pretty but what the hell just happened?!”

And the book does look pretty. Jack Herbert continues to amaze me as one of the best yet most underrated superhero artists working in the field today. His layouts are kinetic yet clear and his facial expressions lively and real yet not over-referenced. Unfortunately, neither his stellar turn on Miss Fury’s interior art nor Ross’s admittedly eye-catching cover can save the book from an over-wrought, head-scratching first issue.

This was a book I was dying to like, especially after Waid’s brilliant showing in The Green Hornet and Garth Ennis’ recent take on the Shadow. The past year has seen Dynamite take great pains to establish some sort of continuity between their pulp properties, as witnessed by Ross and Chris Roberson’s Masks. Unfortunately, the search for a strong female protagonist to join the ranks of the Green Hornet, the Spider, and the Shadow must continue for now.

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