Review–Dynamite’s stuck-out-of-time Miss Fury offers faithful, stylish update to the original superheroine

Miss Fury #1 Alex Ross incentive cover

Miss Fury was the one of the first female superheroes, created 42 years ago this month by June Tarpé Mills (1915-1988)–one of the few early female comic book creators.  Written and drawn by Mills, Miss Fury is also the first female superhero created by a woman.  Original Miss Fury works were signed merely Tarpé Mills–to mask the fact that the work was created by a woman.  Mills’ stylish socialite Marla Drake was provided glamorous images by Mills in the pages of Miss Fury, with classy costumes for the character.  Appearing just months after The Cat–which would become the Catwoman over time, Miss Fury also wore a catsuit to fight crime.

Mills original photo
June Tarpé Mills–with cat.

Mills’ characters gave similar inspiration to the war effort in World War II as Captain America and Superman.  Mills herself would be an excellent subject of study for comic book historians.

Miss Fury most recently has appeared in the recent Masks series from Dynamite Comics and this Wednesday Dynamite releases a standalone series starring Miss Fury with Miss Fury #1.  Just as the original pages of Miss Fury inspired Allied troops during World War II with planes named after the characters from the series, Dynamite’s new series also brings the Nazi menace back in a story with time-out-of-joint elements that will factor into Miss Fury’s reality.  Miss Fury is being pulled from time period to time period–from 2013 to 1943 and back again–and someone or some thing has changed the course of history.  The artwork provided by Jack Herbert is lavish and stylish in ways original artist Mills may have approved of.  Just check out this image of the sophisticated Marla Drake–the wealthiest woman in Manhattan in 1943 (and high-end thief):

Jack Herbert Miss Fury from Issue #1

Before you call out the scantily clad imagery as the stuff of modern male creators, Mills often offered the 1940s version of sexy heroines and villains with her characters in the original pages of her Miss Fury:

Original Miss Fury featuring the scheming Erica Von Kampf

Writer Rob Williams immerses the reader in the middle of Miss Fury’s first predicament in Issue #1, before providing some needed origin backstory.  He then takes Miss Fury and the reader back and forth across realities, and Miss Fury/Marla Drake may not even realize yet what is happening to her.  Williams keeps true to the character of the 1940s with updates for 2013 audiences and provides enough to keep readers coming back for more next month.

Miss Fury cover variants

Look for five great variant covers for Issue #1, including Alex Ross covers, and covers by J. Scott Campbell, Paul Renaud, and Will Conrad.  Miss Fury #1 hits comic book stores Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

C.J. Bunce

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