Monday, January 27, 2014

Review - Furious #1

"Because her story is my story. And she's made me furious!"

If you had a superpower, would you use it for good? Evil? Regardless, would you want the credit and fame that comes with it? Those are questions we really don't have to answer ourselves, but Furious is a character who deals with those questions constantly. She's also the title character of Furious #1 from Dark Horse Entertainment. The first issue is written by Bryan J. L. Glass, illustrated by Victor Santos and lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot.

If you've ever seen reality television, you know that human nature has a tendency to gravitate towards the extreme ends of the emotional spectrum. 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. Add in some high-speed car chases, comic book shops and a 24-hour news cycle and the result is quite an interesting cocktail.

Furious #1 excels largely in part to Glass' ability to effectively capture society's obsession with creating stories out of nothing. Furious is a very powerful individual who desperately wants to do the right thing with her power, but because she has the power she's under a microscope. That means every action she takes is under scrutiny and news networks have a tendency to exploit even the most minute actions into stories for the sake of ratings. If Furious saves the day, she gets faulted for how she does it. That's a very powerful motivator for Furious to not help, even though she's more than capable of helping thanks to her power. Glass really taps into that societal emotion that if it bleeds it leads and networks capitalize on her actions as a means of ratings.

Santos does a fantastic job with the art, offering characters similar to that of The Incredibles. Furious is illustrated as a normal woman with superpowers, albeit with a slightly more voluptuous body. There are a wide array of panel layouts that keep things fresh throughout; there's even some great photograph-like panels as well. It's an action-packed book and Santos keeps the action frenetic through kinetic illustrations, offering up art that moves along with the script. There's a great mix between full-color and silhouettes, all playing into the identity crisis that Furious is currently going through.

As mentioned above, Furious #1 could easily be a sequel of sorts to The Incredibles. It taps into another side of superheroes not often touched upon in stories, where society makes the hero the villain. Furious is an extremely powerful woman who has to deal with the criticism of everyone for just about everything. Her looks, her choices and her means of saving the day all generate ratings for the news coverage, which means that Furious is always under the microscope. Glass and Santos make a great team and the series could definitely be something to keep an eye on as it unfolds. Furious is a very interesting character with a gamut of issues she's forced to contend with and that always makes for a good read.

Furious #1 is in stores January 29 with interiors below.


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