I recently discovered the wonder of titles from Dynamite Entertainment. I had picked up Masks not too long ago (primarily for the writer and artist on the first issue) and will be collecting that until the story concludes from this miniseries. But it turns out that Masks was just a gateway drug. I then picked up The Shadow: Year 1 and loved it. That was followed by Mark Waid’s Green Hornet #1, which I really loved. So when some other new titles are coming down the pipe from Dynamite, will I give them a shot? Hell, yeah; the quality I have read so far has me hooked. The noir-style, the grittiness… but the stories are incredible. This is a new dimension to comics that I cannot find at the Big 2 today. Last week I saw Miss Fury #1 on the shelf at my store and grabbed it and devoured it, hoping for the same feeling as I got from the other Dynamite books of late.
Let me be blunt: It was good, but not great. Now, that said, I think it could be great. Let me explain why.
This is the first issue of what appears to be an amazingly complex series. Not only do we have a woman in a Catwoman-meets-Daredevil outfit with a small red cape who is definitely not prone to a little violence (like her Dynamite cohorts)… No, not only that, but we also end up with a main character who is multi-dimensional, who is a thief but is rich enough to not have to be a thief, but who is also so self-absorbed that when she spots notice of a diamond her first thought is “Sparkly”. OK, part of that was a little dumb in my character, but that is just one facet of what will be an amazingly complex character.
I chose my words carefully above. “Multi-dimensional.” Because that really sums up this book and what this arc promises to be – multi-dimensional. Literally. As in there are multiple, parallel dimensions appearing in the story. There are multiple times that we see the characters – the original time of 1943, which works with the other crime fighters in the Dynamite era, but then also a jump forward to present day. And in each generation there is the same character, but also NOT the same character. There are variances in the outfit, but the core of the character appears to be the same.
I say “appears to be” because this story was simply too short to fit in what really needed to be there to make it great, and that’s a little more context. This should not have been a standalone issue, and I can see where this issue may deter some readers. No, this is the first chapter of a major story. This is one where the collected story is most likely going to make the content more full, more detailed. I think this was a great start to a story I want to read, but as a standalone issue it just didn’t hold the line on its own, I am sorry to say. But I have added this book to my pull list to see where it’s headed as it has an interesting premise, and as a fan of Doctor Who I love all that wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff when it’s well thought out and executed well as part of the story and not just a plot device.
I have not heard of the writer Rob Williams before, at least not to my knowledge. Although I do think he is weaving a tale that is much more than it may first appear to be. By taking on both parallel universes and multiple time zones in the same story, there must be a plan here. Now, I will be clear, even though Williams is telling an amazing tale about a character I know nothing about but now want to, this is not a story for kids to read. No, there is blood and violence and even some sex. What I did appreciate is that these items are not there simply for the sake of being overly sexual; no, that’s left to DC. The sexuality in Miss Fury is there as part of her backstory and as part of her “current” persona, but for a reason. “I was alive for the first time.” We see the main character come of age both in the story and visually in only a couple of pages, and this gives me enough of a backstory to know where this heroine/anti-heroine began from. It’s also nice to have a hero who is not necessarily a hero all the time (again, think Catwoman in the New 52). It’s rare we see strong women written well in comics by… well, anyone at all regardless of their gender, and I think that Williams did a great job here. But this is just the foundation – I want to know more of the character and see some progression through time and dimensions. If she does not grow I will be sorely disappointed.
The art is done amazingly well. I always find a few panels to nitpick about and this book is no exception, but for the most part it’s a great visual story. Jack Herbert’s art is complemented by Ivan Nunes’ coloring to a tee. When we’re in the World War II era, we see the darkness of the era stuck in the thralls of war shown in the scenery. When we’re seeing Miss Fury in her alter ego and relaxing at home, the scene is much more relaxed. Yes, it’s very sexualized, but this is a woman relaxing at home in the bathtub. When we see flashbacks to her past in the jungles of Kenya, we have a coloring and feeling of the time – more greens and beige colors rather than the grays and darkness of the city. This is gorgeous book and I must give the credit to this team where the credit is due.
Like all other Dynamite books of late, they are doing something which I am not a huge fan of: A number of alternate covers. I always prefer the story within the pages and the cover should entice me to pick it up. Now, the fact that Dynamite has Alex Ross involved with a variant of many of their covers… Well, at least they are getting a high quality of artistic calibre here. I did not get the Alex Ross over, though; no, I got the J. Scott Campbell alternate. There are also 2 other covers from Paul Renaud and Will Conrad available, but I will say I am happy with the one I received. What I appreciate about the covers on the Dynamite family is that, regardless of the artist, they don’t give away the story. It’s there as an enticement to pick up the book, to tease you to look in the pages. And these covers do just that. There is no telling what is going on, no spoilers done on the cover; just plain, honest-to-goodness artwork that is a joy to look at.
All in all, I am looking forward to this series. I want to see where Williams, Herbert and Nunes are taking this story as I think they make a wonderful team. This was a good introduction to a new character for me, and hopefully once we get to take in more of what is in store here I can upgrade my thoughts to being a great first story arc.