Comic Reviews: Female Furies and Vindication!
Female Furies #1 (DC Comics)
After making a brief appearance in Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle miniseries, the Female Furies of Apokolips get their very own miniseries from Cecil Castellucci and artist Adriano Mello. But instead of an ass-kicking adventure starring Granny Goodness’ powerhouse team, Female Furies instead flashes back to the early days of the Furies, and their attempt to be seen as a legitimate part of Darkseid’s forces.
Flashing back and forth between Granny Goodness’ time as a new general for Darkseid and her time training the Furies, much of this first issue is largely an origin story for the group. Naturally that won’t be as enticing for comic fans who know about the Furies, but Casellucci’s script makes some pretty strong comparisons to the Furies and Granny’s struggles to be seen as equals that have a lot in common with what’s going on in our world as well. Unfortunately, Castellucci’s script doesn’t do a great job of balancing that part of the story with the rest of the book, making for a frustratingly uneven first issue. Castellucci tries to cover a lot of ground in the 22 pages that fill up this book, which means that the emotional moments he’s going for, while effective, don’t have quite the impact that they should.
Adriano Mello’s art is a fantastic throwback to Jack Kirby’s classic Fourth World books, and that’s not even taking into account the artist mimicking the king’s style for the Granny Goodness flashbacks. Mello’s strong character work and fluid sense of motion make for a pretty great combination for this series, and makes for a comic that has art that can seemingly do it all. At times I almost thought I was looking at recreated Kirby pages.
While Female Furies isn’t quite the follow up to Mister Miracle that DC is hyping it up to be, it’s still a pretty good debut issue with a surprisingly pointed message. That message gets a little lost when the script is adding on a bunch of new aspects to the story, but if the other issues can focus in more on the message, than Female Furies could make a pretty sizable impact on the comic industry.
Vindication #1 (Image Comics)
Image comics puts out a LOT of titles, sometimes even dwarfing efforts from larger publishers like DC and Marvel. But, like all publishers, that doesn’t mean all of their titles are good, and Vindication is one of those regrettable examples. The miniseries from MD Marie and artist Carlos Miko has a great premise, but is saddled with some really clunky dialogue and inconsistent art to make it really stand out.
MD Marie’s script starts out by focusing on Turn Washington, a wrongfully convicted criminal who gets out of jail after 10 years. Marie uses Turn’s life as an African American in the criminal justice system to tell a heartfelt and harrowing tale of what it’s like to be a minority on the wrong side of the law, but her script is too clunky and full of cliched dialogue to get the point across. There’s a lot of exposition and inner monologues in this book, so much so that I feel like she maybe didn’t know who her artist would be in this series, so she front-loaded her script to make up for it.
Speaking of the art, Carlos Miko really has a lot of room to grow. While his art is far from terrible in Vindication, it’s also pretty all over the place. For every panel with a good composition and page layout, there’s at least two more that feature awkward poses or weird faces. Characters don’t look the same from panel to panel, something that’s pretty major when releasing a comic book on a publisher like Image.
It’s a real shame that Vindication doesn’t have a stronger debut, as it really has a great message. But as it stands right now, it’s just an okay way of trying to deal with a very difficult topic. They can’t all be winners, but it would’ve been nice if Vindication had been one.