Female Furies #1 kicks off a new six-issue limited run focused on the fanatically-loyal Apokoliptian fighting squad. At the book’s core, though, is a multifaceted exploration of sexual politics and power viewed through the lens of the superhero genre.
The first half of the book focuses heavily on the Granny Goodness, providing a backdrop for how she came to manage The Orphanage and train the Furies. In the second half, we see the team disrespected, harassed, and written-off as inferior, despite their skills. It comes to a head when one Fury takes an action that could have serious consequences for the whole team.
The writing in Female Furies #1 is a treat right from the beginning. Cecil Castellucci open the book with a unique look into the character of Granny Goodness. The first several pages function as an exploration of a rarely touched-upon character, providing an interesting glimpse into her history and motivation. She may be a devoted servant of Darkseid, but Castellucci manages to make readers empathize with the character.
The (not so subtle) degradation endured by Goodness and the Furies, courtesy of their male counterparts, takes central focus here. For example, we see the Furies as a powerful, capable fighting force. However, even with New Genesis’s forces bearing down, the contributions the team could make are ignored or derided.
This goes hand-in-hand with the exploration of coercive relationships between several characters. Darkseid and Willik both use their positions of power to this end with no expectation of consequences.
Castellucci paces the story in Female Furies #1 incredibly well. We see indignity upon indignity stacked on the team members, the pressure building until a breaking point that forms a perfect turning point to set up Act II of the story.
Adriana Melo’s illustrations in Female Furies #1 showcase a mastery of the craft. Dynamic, eye-catching artwork occupies every panel in the book. Flashback panels have a subtle, yet distinct Bronze Age aesthetic, which is a nice nod to classic comic stories, and she weaves the two styles together well.
Melo manages to convey a wide range of emotions through the characters, from annoyance and rage to resignation. The reader gets a sense of complex thoughts in a character’s mind through something as simple as a glance.
The colors provided by digital studio Hi-Fi supplement the excellent artwork. The artists manage to capture the perfect tones for the flashback sequences, then pivot to the more modern style, where vibrant color choices accentuate the emotional pitch of each scene.
Female Furies #1 is a great start to the new series. The creators take a straightforward, unambiguous approach to social commentary, fleshing out some of DC’s less-developed characters in the process. Highly recommended.