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Tag Archive: Marla Drake


MissFury010-Cov-Tan  MissFury010-Cov-Syaf

The borg.com selection for best comic book series of 2013, Dynamite’s Miss Fury, continues to be an action-filled series in 2014, full of time travel, parallel histories, and an update to a classic and nostalgic superheroine.  Add to that mobsters, Nazis, the Philadelphia Experiment, atomic age scientists, and an interstellar timeship, and the result is just plain fun.

Writer Rob Williams, artist Jack Herbert, and colorist Ivan Nunes have merged the future with the past, and thrown in some new, cool, supervillains on par with Deathstroke and the pantheon of bad guys from the Arrow TV series.  Stuck out of time, Marla Drake has met and killed herself, and now she is forced into continuing to be an assassin to try to save a man from her past.  But violent recurring, mind-numbing headaches are catching her off-guard, the result of popping across time.  Can she take control of her actions and stop the madness before her own time is up?

MissFury010-Cov-Calero  MissFury010-Cov-Worley

After the break is a preview of Miss Fury, Issue #10, courtesy of Dynamite Comics:

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Masks trade cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

If you’re a connoisseur of classic superheroes, you’d be remiss not to grab the trade edition of Dynamite Comics’ Masks series for your bookshelf.  Inspired by a 1938 story by Norvell Page called The Spider vs. The Empire State, it’s an examination of pre-World War II Law vs. Justice, as nine classic pulp superheroes unite to fight a fascist political party blossoming in New York, bent on taking over the country.

Writer Chris Roberson looks at justice through the eyes of each of these classic superheroes, each having a different take on the evolving political climate, and how to deal with the story’s bad guys.  Where the original source material was a story featuring The Spider, here the heroes take a backseat to The Shadow, whose perfectly shadowy dialogue manages to allow him to steal the scene in each of the story’s eight chapters.  The book starts with a bang–a chapter we previewed here at borg.com in its original printing as Masks, Issue #1, back in November 2012.  Alex Ross provided the interior art for the first chapter, and as much as we’d hope for a full book featuring Ross’s art, artists Dennis Calero provides an excellent look at the 1930s with a very pulp novel feel.

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Miss Fury first anthology cover

Miss Fury was ahead of her time.  The superhero moniker and nickname of Marla Drake, she was less a femme fatale, cast aside by the males that shared the comic page as with other contemporary tales, instead planted in the center of the action.  She was a true heroine, who, while maintaining her sex appeal and motherly nature (adopting a child during the series run), she was a strategic thinker and always the most cunning person in the room, despite male dominated conventions of the 1940s.  In fact, despite some handsome and well-intentioned male friends and companions, it’s the women of the series that are the most interesting, with oafish and blumbering men left for the supporting roles.

June Tarpé Mills was ahead of her time.  Serving as story writer and artist for the popular nearly decade running Miss Fury comic strip, she created the first costumed super-heroine when Superman and Batman were just getting their footholds in the fantasy realm.  Her character drawing is incredible and modern readers might compare her comic art style with modern-day Wonder Woman artist Cliff Chiang, her compositions with Alex Ross, and her glamour with Adam Hughes.  All of these comparisons are accurate and compliment each of these artists.  Mills’ story arcs collected in Tarpé Mills & Miss Fury: Sensational Sundays 1944 – 1949 anthology hardcover from IDW Publishing are intriguing and compelling–so much so that you could overlook the detailed “costuming” of Mills’ men and women.  But what you would miss.  Men were dressed appropriately in snappy suits, her women sport a historical catalog of designs, fabrics, colors, and styles, as well as a variety of 1940s hairdos.  Miss Fury might as well be a sourcebook for clothing historians.

Mills accomplished something many modern comic book readers beg for–less costumed character stories (i.e. Batman stories) and more secret identity doing the detective work out of the costume (i.e. Bruce Wayne stories).  In fact, you will hardly see Marla Drake appear in her catsuit in the pages of Miss Fury.  And it won’t bother you one bit.

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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): Continue reading