Nazis in New York? And Marla Drake, a.k.a. Miss Fury, thought she was just out busting some common criminals. Though she’ll be the first to tell you she’s not a superhero, it looks like it’s going to fall to Miss Fury to stop these time-travelling National Socialists from rewriting the history of the world.

MissFury001-Cov-RossMISS FURY #1
WRITING
: ROB WILLIAMS
ART: JACK HERBERT
LETTERS: SIMON BOWLAND
COLORS: IVAN NUNES
EDITOR: JOE RYBANDT
PUBLISHER: DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
COVER PRICE: $3.99

STORYTELLING NONLINEAR BE CONFUSING CAN

“Miss Fury” #1 defied my expectations by being more than a straightforward pulp story. Instead of hard-boiled crime-heavy narrative, the story is an amalgam of pulp and non-linear science fiction that at times feels more “Iron Sky” than Golden Age. It doesn’t work, at least not in this issue.

Marla Drake is a wholly unlikable misanthrope who seems to enjoy unwarranted pettiness and revels in her ability to be rude and off-putting to even the most well-meaning of interlopers who would dare disturb her public privacy. Explicitly, we know little of her back story aside from her sojourn to Africa and the amorously ethnographic studies she conducted therein, but dialogue seems to make obvious her father’s social and parenting deficiencies. It’s not difficult to imagine the effects an emotionally absent parent can have on a young woman, so there is at least a valid root to her behavior, though the back story doesn’t go nearly far enough to explain her. The necessity of such a character analysis speaks to the quality of the writing—it’s there, make no mistake. The story is what didn’t measure up.

Its non-linear leaps and hops left me confused early on and that undoubtedly colored my experience through the rest of the issue, but the novelty had worn off on a second read, so I was left feeling that while the writer tried to use an interesting literary device to improve the telling, it would have been better to stick with a more sensible cause-leads-to-effect narrative.

STELLAR IMAGERY.

Jack Herbert’s art is glorious. He’s given many of the books action-oriented panels something close to a third dimension—knives leaping off the page, gunshots grazing your head—it’s anything but static. During quieter scenes the detail of faces—very expressive save for one or two anomalies—and backgrounds carry us forward through dialogue raining from cryptic to expository.

BOTTOM LINE: MIDDLING FIRST OUTING, BUT ROOM TO GROW

I found this book… interesting. Its non-linear and sci-fi elements went a bit beyond the pulpy bounds I was expecting. Typically I enjoy sci-fi in any form, but it felt like an unexpected and unwelcome house guest in “Miss Fury” #1. None of this is to say it was necessarily bad—just that it betrayed my expectations and not in a good way. As always I’ll be reading the second issue to see if my mind can be changed, but at least the book left me wanting more with its ending. 3 stars on the strength of the art.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
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The Author

Brandon Dingess

Brandon Dingess

Brandon lives his life by the three guiding principals on which the universe is based: Neal Peart's lyrical infallibility, the superiority of the Latin language and freedom of speech. He's a comic book lover, newspaper journalist and amateur carpenter who's completely unashamed his wife caught him making full-sized wooden replicas of Klingon weaponry. Brandon enjoys the works of such literary luminaries as Thomas Jefferson, Jules Verne, Mark Twain and Matt Fraction. "Dolemite" is his favorite film, "The Immortal Iron Fist" is his all-time favorite comic and 2nd Edition is THE ONLY Dungeons and Dragons.

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5 Comments

  1. aerohalen1
    April 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm — Reply

    am i the only one who see’s this and doesnt see Batwoman?

  2. ZombieisTooAword
    April 11, 2013 at 7:42 am — Reply

    Fury’s had the outfit longer. Much longer.

  3. April 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm — Reply

    I disagree with the reviewer’s chief complaint. You have to treat this as a chapter, not a book. This intro is chaotic because by nature the rather superficial lead being pulled from a fairly typical existence of punches and bullets through the fabric of reality and time. How do you kick that off in a comic book format of 22-30 pages without becoming Geoff Johns? Rob Williams doesn’t have that luxury of being a “legend” and working with a top 20 book. I thought the issue was a great “grab something and hang on” intro.

    • April 12, 2013 at 12:08 am — Reply

      I’ll grant you the point of your argument: That this issue is an installment rather than a self-contained story and should be treated as such. That doesn’t excuse its deficiencies, however. It’s entirely possible that the overall tale will bear out Rob Williams’ stylistic choices, but that won’t change the fact that this portion of the story taken by itself wasn’t cohesive enough to give me a burning desire to continue reading.

      If I’m being brutally honest with myself and everyone else, I think that, generally, literary tricks such as non-linearity are just gidgets and gimcracks used to paper over poor writing ability. I’m not at all saying that’s the situation with Williams, but I’ve seen it too many times not to have that thought creep into my head.

      tl;dr: I respect and understand your opinion and appreciate your comment. We’ll just have to see how the whole thing plays out in the next couple of issues.

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