Furious #1 Review

Furious #1 CoverBryan J.L. Glass and Victor Santos’ last team-up was on Mice Templar from Image Comics. This time, they give us something completely different. Whereas Templar is epic and far reaching, Furious from Dark Horse is more contained, but no less spectacular.

Yes, the last few years have seen almost as many superhero parodies/deconstructions and re-imaginings as straightforward superhero tales themselves, but brightly coloured beings with amazing powers will always be an intriguing prism through which to examine the best and worst of humanity. Fame does the same, and when those two things are combined, you get Furious. This premiere issue is smart and thrilling, and as anyone who’s read the preview can attest, it looks great too.

The titular character describes fame as a spoiled brat which always screams for more. Two months ago she debuted, calling herself The Beacon, but a loss of cool on camera meant the media gave her a new unwanted name – Furious.

This is a mature comic, with mature language, and an intensity and desperation that floods the pages. Furious is a wonderfully nuanced character. Glass employs a delicate touch here, making certain that she is frightened and uncertain, but with noble intentions. She only wants to do good with the abilities she’s been given but she soon realizes that the old saying is true. No good deed does indeed go unpunished.

There’s more at work here than just another jaded look at “superheroes in the real world.” Glass has something interesting to say about what’s expected about those rare, skilled individuals who we so easily put on a pedestal. What does that do to the individual? What does that do to those of us expecting them to be miraculously better than us? Public meltdowns are increasingly common of course, and that just adds to the authentic and relevant approach Furious is aiming for.

Santos’ art is angular and dynamic as always and his colour choices are meaningful – well-lit and exciting when Furious is flying after a distraught mother kidnapping her child, and full of shadow during scenes of Furious’ anger and doubt.

Eagle-eyed readers will see some interesting visuals, such as the nod to Santos’ recent Polar OGN, and Glass also nods to some of his fellow talented creators in a back-up collage page showing some in-world reactions to Furious’ debut. There’s also a familiar figure in one scene that made me do a double-take and just reminded me that Glass and Santos are building an intriguing story with more layers than a lasagne.

Furious is a young woman with some standard superpowers (speed, strength, flight) and although her origin isn’t explored here, it’s not really needed. Furious brings her hurt past with her to her present decision making, and that’s make for an interesting protagonist. Underneath the bright costume and the desire to just do good, is a fragile woman who just wants acceptance, and who doesn’t want to be judged by a bad deed or two.

The remaining three issues are sure to be as dazzling and provocative as this debut. It’s obvious that the story is perched on a rickety rollercoaster track. It will all lead somewhere dangerous and exciting.

Furious #1 will be released from Dark Horse Comics on January 29 and you can even participate in a unique press conference on Twitter with the star of the comic!

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Furious #1 Preview

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics, below is a generous preview of Furious, the new mini-series from writer Bryan J.L. Glass (Adventures of Superman) and artist Victor Santos (Polar: Came from the Cold). The pair have collaborated previously on the excellent Mice Templar. Furious #1 is released on January 29.

Staring into a fractured mirror of her life, the world’s first superhero, Furious, seeks to atone for her past sins by doling out rage-fueled justice! But the spotlight of our celebrity-obsessed media threatens to undo her noblest efforts and expose her true identity before she can achieve redemption.

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November Previews Goodies

Previews is a 500+ page, monthly catalogue filled with mainly comics, but also toys, games, clothes, etc, that both retailers and customers can order from. Each issue lets you know what is coming out in 2 months’ time. The latest Previews has 3 goodies that are definitely worth ordering.

On page 279, there’s an OGN that I’ve been looking forward to for some time, and even moreso now, as I recently watched the documentary Marley, set in same era and location. Com.x are a unique publisher whose output is always bold, and worth paying attention to. Duppy ’78 is written by Casey Seijas with groovy art by Amancay Nahuelphan-Bustamante. Below is the official description, and new trailer.
Duppy ’78 – Three crime lords fight for control using black market guns, potent narcotics, and young mystics called “Obeahman.” These children possess the power to control the Duppy – malevolent spirits known throughout Rastafarian culture as a source of mischief and harm. When one of the crime lords is killed, the Jamaican capital is thrown into chaos as the remaining factions vie for control and race to find his now-orphaned Obeahman – rumored to be the most powerful of them all. A re-imagining of Jamaican and Rastafarian ghost stories, told in the context of a 1978 gangland drama.
Writer Bryan J.L. Glass of Mice Templar fame, (and also Thor, Superman, and many others) has a new 5 issue mini-series out from Dark Horse, with art by Victor Santos, his Mice Templar collaborator. Famous is described as, “where celebrity, fame and super-heroes meet.” Here’s the official lowdown, and it features on page 62 of Previews.
Staring into a fractured mirror of her life, the world’s first superhero, Furious, seeks to atone for her past sins by doling out rage-fueled justice! But the spotlight of our celebrity-obsessed media threatens to undo her noblest efforts and expose her true identity before she can achieve redemption.
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Finally, on page 236 is a publisher I haven’t heard of before – Adventurist Corp. they have an OGN called Roll Hard, and it was Billy Tucci’s name that caught my eye. The creator of Shi, and very talented artist (see Sgt Rock: The Lost Battalion, or the A Child Is Born Christmas one-shot) is the writer, along with Robert Young Pelton, and artist, with Tom Novak. Below is the official description.
A team of misfit Blackwater contractors must run ‘RPG Alley’ every day. Kicked off the ‘Pretty Boy’ CIA and State Dept security details, the team, with the help of the insanely talented ‘Little Bird’ pilots struggle to stay alive on Baghdad’s mean streets. When a famous war correspondent decides to spend a month with them they rebel at first, but then slowly each man tells his dark story until the team is hit by a deadly IED on the most violent day for contractors in Iraq’s history.
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Previews is always worth looking through, as you never know what treasures you may uncover. All of these items will arrive at comic shops in January 2014 and can be ordered now.

Mice Templar: Destiny

mice templar tpbThis is a series definitely worth following. Mixing elements of The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and epic battles involving talking mice in medieval garb. Don’t let that last part fool you though – if Walt Disney and Tolkien had a love child…actually, no, forget that. Ewww.

Mice Templar is a thoroughly entertaining read. The second volume, entitled Destiny has just begun and the third ish hits on September 2 – all for only $2.99, despite what the cover says. That’s good value for a 32 page comic. There’s a recap in each issue in case you’ve missed one, and it’s obvious that writer Bryan J.L. Glass has thought about the lore here. There’s a rich tapestry unfurling involving visions, prophecies, all manner of vicious creatures and a young mouse called Karic. With lines like, “Long ago, beneath the great dimmed eye of Wotan,” and “what glorious, self-righteous wretches we were,” Glass shows his skill at the craft of building an invigorating fantasy. It’s all very bloody, and Oeming’s work is nothing short of remarkable. This, and Rapture, his current Dark Horse series with his wife displays his diversity extremely well. His battle scenes jut out from the page and make you feel like you’re in the thick of the action, with limbs flying, and claws slashing, and his watercolour pieces are just as superb.

Mice Templar is a series that demands commitment and is better enjoyed as a TPB. The first series is available as such now, or you can check out 100 (!) gorgeous pages from it at the MT site.

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