Miss Fury by Rob Williams

I am not sure what I was looking up when I came across this one. I honestly think that I saw the cover and thought, first it looked cool, and second that it was a Batwoman or Catwoman comic. Then I saw the title and was kind of stumped as I had no idea who Miss Fury is. This is one of the first times I read the descriptions of the book and that is what sold me. There was mention of time travel, Nazis, and WWII so of course I was sold!

Rob Williams is a British comics writer. Currently he is mainly working for 2000AD, which I have not read many of their titles. Rob has written on almost every big name title and quite a few big name publishers. This is the first title of Rob’s that I have read and I certainly want to see how this one ends. He is most known for titles Cla$$War and Low Life, neither of which I have read.

The story opens with Marla Drake a.k.a Miss Fury attempting to rob a museum of a very valuable jewel and diamond encrusted crown. In her attempt she is confronted by a group of time traveling Nazis who also want the crown for reasons that are revealed later on in the story. Fury fights and defeats the agents but only to fall into the time machine that is there. From there Fury is pulled back and forth through time in 1943ish to 2013. She is trying to get back to her own time while searching for her lost love that went to war and never returned. The Nazi agents are there following her the whole way and slowly but surely their sinister plot is revealed, yet there are still many questions left unanswered.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I think it is best to go into most things without any prejudices or expectations, that is the only way to find out what you truly thought about it. That is certainly what happened with this one. I bought it just thinking it could be a quick read, something different. But now I am almost certainly going to buy the second trade just to see what happens. Again I was surprised by the characters and the story itself.

As I have said this one truly surprised me with the story as well as the characters. Drake was certainly a character that I did not see coming. She is strong and does not care about how other see her or the norms of the time. I thought it was interesting that in the 1940, when some of this book is set, the character is defiant to the societal norms. It almost seems like she was originally from the 2000’s and was sent back to the 1940’s not the other way round. I do not know if I have seen another character quite like her in terms of her strength, desire, and determination. There are fight scenes where she gets her behind whooped but she picks herself up and keeps going.

At times I will say that the time travel element was a bit confusing as to what the heck was going on. For the most part I understand the overall plot and or theme, but the details and some scenes are confusing. What is funny is that one character even says while talking to Drake that time travel makes things confusing. So I am reading this thinking that the writer may have put this in because they knew the plot was confusing or that it didn’t quite make sense and kind of wanted to make a joke about it. Either way I thought it was funny and clever at the same time. It was like breaking the 4th wall without breaking the 4th wall, if that makes sense.

I have to say that I found a lot of similarities between this character and Bat-Man. Both come from extremely wealthy families, both of their parents are dead, although Drake’s were not murdered, and both have very similar looking suits. That may not seems like a ton of similarities but it is very noticeable while you are reading. Plus I think there are a lot of personality similarities between Drake and Wayne as both seem to be extremely driven and no matter the odds never give up and can push through almost anything.

Before reading this one I had never heard of Miss Fury and knew nothing about the character. I did some research and found that she has quite a past. She was first published in 1941 by Tarpe Mills, who was one of the first female comic artists. The character was quite popular but did run into some controversy because of how provocative some of the other female characters were drawn in the strip. Then some newspapers dropped the strip when Miss Furry was drawn in a bikini, so scandalous! Then the character was bought by various comic companies throughout the years, and eventually Dynamite bought the rights. She has a very interesting history both in terms of her publication as well as her character biography.

The artwork in this one is solid, not over the top but just good solid comic art. It is what you would expect to see when you open up a book, very traditional with loads of detail. There is not much else to say about the artwork. The colors are again very traditional although I felt they were very rich and deep. Very deep reds and blacks to give some sharp contrasts. They seem over saturated, but I am not sure that is the right word? The page layouts are good, again nothing to gush about, as they are mostly traditional and simple. Although there are some pages that look cool and have a unique layout. I did notice that there are very few if any full page splashes in this book, which is somewhat of a bummer. I would also like to mention the cover art as it is spectacular. The cover are on the tpb is pretty awesome had the entire book been done in this style I would have not been able to shut up about it. Also there is plenty of additional artwork at the end. There are probably 20 pages of pictures done by other artists which was kind of cool as well as a script from an issue as well. All very neat extras.

Something else that you may want to know is that there is not a ton of Miss Furry books out there, but most of it is from the 40’s or so. There are a lot of older stories that have been reprinted in a collected tpb. I am not sure if those have anything to do with this story, I would doubt it. It is also worth noting that these two tpb’s from Dynamite are somewhat difficult to find. They are on Amazon but mycomicshop.com did not have them, however they do have the individual issues available. Despite their somewhat rareness they are not expensive so that is a good thing.

All in all I recommend this one. It is a cool read and a somewhat different take on the superhero books that we are all used to. There are interesting themes, interesting characters, and a very interesting plot that ties in some history as well. I have the next tpb on my list to read and will be getting it soon.

Manik

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