Feed The Beast Or It Consumes You: Furious #1 Review

GameStop, Inc.

Furious1The official synopsis – “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!”

The team behind Mice Templar have done it again! Furious #1, out today from Dark Horse Comics, is the most recent take on a superhero in the real world story, but it goes in some surprisingly philosophical directions.

On the surface, Furious is the tale of a highly powered superhero trying to dole out justice in a world consumed by the the private lives of celebrities, with cellphones and paparazzi documenting their every move. I can see many readers mistaking the media as the villain of this tale, and they are to a small extent, but this story’s real villain is the hero herself. She’s easily her worst enemy. Struggling with the demons of her tragic past, she is unsure how to react to the world around her, constantly second guessing herself and if what she is doing is the right thing.

Sure, on the surface Furious is about the constant media surveillance a superhero like The Beacon would have to deal with on a day to day basis in these modern times where anyone with a cellphone can become the next Perez Hilton or TMZ, but deeper down it is the story of Cadence Lark trying to understand who she is, to herself, and to a lesser extent to those that that would deify or vilify her in the press and on the street. She constantly corrects people when they call her the media dubbed name of Furious, not, I think, for their benefit, but for her own.

Bryan J.L. Glass has crafted a compelling tale of the duality of self, of one person’s endeavor to at once comprehend and accept her past, yet separate it from who she wants to become, to be seen as. Her alter ego is a shadow, hiding in plain sight under a scarf and sunglasses, trying to be as unassuming as possible, which is not an easy thing to do since she has been presented by the mass media as a murderer her whole life, her face consistently plastering the tabloids and televisions of a scandal hungry press.

As always, Glass really has an ear for dialog, and this story is very short on pointless exposition, each and every word balloon and caption as compelled to move forward as our titular protagonist. There is not a single throwaway moment, every sentence either referencing the past, or predicting the future. The confrontation in the mini-mart seems rather inconsequential in the scheme of things, just a chance for some exposition giving insight into how the media manipulates people into seeing the same thing very differently. Then we get to the end of the issue, and that scene is given much more weight.

Victor Santos once again dazzles, his style evolving to fit the mood of the story. In many places forgoing the stark ink lines of previous works, the almost painterly style of much of this issue shows a wonderful maturation of an artist who was already amazing! The pages still have the kinetic energy we’ve come to expect from Santos, and his dynamic panel compositions work subconsciously to move your eyes across the page, directing the action. Victor Santos has always impressed in his ability to adapt his style to fit the story at hand, and this book is simply gorgeous!

A curious first issue that is at once intimate and action packed, full of emotional impact, and thought provoking once you dig a little, this is a comic that I will be looking forward to on a monthly basis, and so should you.

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