missfury

Miss Fury #1

Writer: Rob Williams

Artist: Jack Herbert

Colorist: Ivan Nunes

Review by Bob Reyer

Those of you who perused my essay last week regarding the original Miss Fury and her creator Tarpe Mills are undoubtedly waiting with bated breath to read my thoughts on this new iteration of this classic and important character…

(Aren’t you giving yourself a bit too much credit, Robert?   Audrey)

I would say Audrey, that those 14 people who read my Tarpe Mills piece do deserve the follow-up, so as they know whether this new version of Miss Fury is worth their time and money, don’t you think?

(Well, on that basis, carry on darling. )

Now that that is out of the way, I must say I was quite torn about this new project from Dynamite Entertainment; on one hand, it would certainly heighten awareness of Ms. Mills and her seminal super-heroine creation, but this new Miss Fury could also fall prey to some of modern comics’ more—how shall I say this—licentious excesses.  The book itself highlights (or should I say “headlights” for those of you who have read Dr. Wertham!) this dichotomy, but let me save the worst for last, and begin with the good features of this new series.

The Alex Ross cover shown above (1 of 14—will this madness never end!!) is absolutely stunning, and much in keeping with the spirit (and body dimensions!) of Ms. Mills’ original. I think so much of it that I will hope to find the variant “no logos” edition at a reasonable price, and frame and hang it in the “super-heroine corner” of my kitchen.

Then there’s….Ummm…

(The colors by Ivan Nunes are quite lovely, Robert.)

O.K, I’d agree to that, Audrey.

And of course, we have the…no, wait…what about…nope, but there is…*ahem*…

Look, I’m sorry folks, but that’s about it for the good parts.

Firstly, avoid at all costs the insulting and hideous “torpedo cover” variant shown below:

 

(Artist name withheld, as I don’t rat on people!)

(There is actually one that might be worse, with Miss Fury’s costume in tatters as if it’s a lost cover from Adam Warren’s Empowered, but there it would be on-model, as that is an “adults-only” book!)

While I’m on the subject of the art, let’s begin with the interiors by Jack Herbert. At first glance, they do seem “pretty”, with some interesting attention to detail (particularly to Marla Drake’s…umm, “equipment”) but at closer examination, there are some oddly composed panels, as well as some peculiar close-ups(of what seems to be Olivia Munn!), with off-putting facial expressions and structures.

 

As I can’t determine whether the details of the scene dynamics and page layouts were writer or artist determinations, let me take them as a joint effort, and move on to the “story” by Rob Williams. (I will divulge some plot points here, so you might consider this a “spoiler alert”, I prefer to think of it as “fair warning”!) In general, this new MF (I will only refer to this new title by its initials from here on in; that’s all it deserves!) is rather mean-spirited, and chock-a-block with gratuitous violence, and why not, while we’re in a degrading mood… some “naughty bits”, too!  Marla Drake has had her origin “enhanced” to include a mystic ceremony to grant her super-human powers, the charming act of tying a lecher to a tree so that he can be killed by hyenas, and some shtupping on the veld, as if things weren’t ludicrous enough already.

Back in New York, Marla Drake seems to have gotten herself confused (infused?) with Selina Kyle, as Tarpe Mills’ glamorous socialite has become, in this new MF, one of Manhattan’s… most notorious jewel thieves?!? Has anyone involved in this project actually read any of the original Miss Fury, or did they look at the covers and (very) simply extrapolate?  There is some very clever dialogue, such as in this exchange between Marla and an American Museum of Natural History executive, who has just praised her late father as a great man:

MARLA:  He was a f***ing a**hole whose heart finally gave out fifty years after it had actually died. (Censored by me; she flat out says what you think she does; pithy, right?)

MUSEUM GUY:  Umm…Well, yes. ummm every family has its…

MARLA:  You came over here either because you’re hoping I’ll give money to the Museum like Daddy did or because you’re a lechorous old man and you’d like to screw me, right?

(George Bernard Shaw should rise from the grave and weep over not having used dialogue such as this in “Pygmalion”!)

I could go on and rant about the new MF‘s apparent fascination with gun-play (I don’t recall the original shooting out someone’s knee-caps!), or her seeming dis-regard for the War during the sequences set in 1943, but I feel the bile rising in my throat, so let me conclude by simply saying that if you were at all intrigued about Tarpe Mills’ Miss Fury through my article, do yourself a great favor and treat this new MF as if it doesn’t exist, and with the money that I just saved you, start a fund to purchase the IDW collection that I clued you in to the last time we spoke.

 

VERDICT:  After all that, you have to ask? Actually, since I know that some of you just skip down to here without reading the review, this new Dynamite release of {The Book That Must Not Be Named} is as bad as I feared it could be (Trina, you were right!), and is classified by your Obedient Servant as a DO NOT BUY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

(You have been warned, darlings!  Audrey)

ADDENDA:  Interestingly, in Dynamite’s Masks title, writer Chris Roberson and artist Dennis Calero are doing a fine job of capturing all that was grand about Miss Fury, comics’ first costumed super-heroine!

Also, it has been rumoured that other companies were “on the prowl” to do a Miss Fury up-date, but Dynamite (sadly) got there first!

(By the way, I have just decided that since I will never crack open this book again, I might as well frame this copy, instead of giving Dynamite any more of my money!)

Soundtrack: In honor of Miss Fury’s kitty Perri-Purr (and Marla’s catsuit!), and since it seems so many of our correspondents and readers enjoy “cat videos” here is a bunch of feline fotos set to the Nellie McKay song “Pounce”, from her 2005 album Pretty Little Head:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nduo-PC22Bc[/youtube]

 

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About The Author

Associate Editor and Podcast Co-Host

Bob was rocketed to Earth as an infant after his parents were scared by a huge bat! Landing on an island of Amazons, he was injected with the super-soldier serum and sent into space where he was bombarded with cosmic rays! This might explain his love for comics, but probably not. 'Nuff said?

8 Responses

    • Bob Reyer

      Well John, then I feel quite gladdened that I’ve saved you four dollars, and even happier that I’ve kept you from reading this abomination.

      If you haven’t already, might I suggest Masks, for a bit of Miss Fury?

      Bob

      • thisjohnd

        I didn’t realize that Miss Fury was part of the Masks crew, so I’ll certainly give it a shot! Comixology has issues #1-4 digitally for the criminally low price of just $1.99. As much as I’d love to give my LCS the money, unfortunately the demand is just too low and the few issues that my shop gets are gone within days. Got to have room for that weekly Age of Ultron, I guess.

      • Bob Reyer

        John,
        With Masks #5 having just hit the stands this week, you’d be right up-to-speed! It’s a great read, and at that price, a great bargain, too!

  1. Adam Shaw

    Bob, thanks for both this write up and the last one. I’ll be taking your advise and picking up Masks. I actually grabbed the first one and it was pretty great. Looking forward to the rest of that series, and possibly the IDW colledction of Miss Fury. -Adam

    • Bob Reyer

      Adam,

      Masks has been sensational from the beginning, with each hero given his or her proper attention as they’ve been introduced, with some new players on stage in issue #5 out this week!

      The IDW Tarpe Mills & Miss Fury is a great collection of the strip at its height of artistry, and though it doesn’t open with her origin, that story is told via a marvelous re-cap page, and of course there’s Trina Robbins’ insightful and informative essay about Tarpe Mills and her creation!

      Thanks for the kind words,
      Bob

  2. Bob Reyer

    Folks,

    I’ve just received a comment from comics “herstorian” Trina Robbins that she wished me to pass along (and pardon me for using her “critique” of my essay!):

    Why am I not surprised? Too bad there’s no prison term for appropriating a wonderful Golden Age comic and destroying it in a remake. But I love your review — it’s hilarious!
    Trina

    By the way, we’re hoping to have the erudite and delightful Ms. Robbins back for a Wonder Woman round table discussion later this year!
    Bob
    ps) You can (and should!) visit Trina Robbins’ website: http://trinarobbins.com/Trina_Robbins/Welcome.html

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