[Review] FEMALE FURIES #1 Aims to Smash the Apokoliptian Patriarchy

FIRST IMPRESSION

FEMALE FURIES #1 is engaging right from the first pages. The book confidently presents a feminist critique of sex and power dynamics, and delivers a great story in the process. Stellar artwork backs up the storytelling.
Writing
Dialogue
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
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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

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.

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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.

The Artwork

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Jack Kirby is rolling in his grave. What an insulting portrayal of the Female Furies. The assumption that gender politics is literally the ONLY influence governing the lives of the people of Apocolips reflects just how badly this story is. The writing and editing is the worse I have seen on any comic mythology in years. And incidentally, even a cursory reading of the Fourth World reflects how Darkseid is a God who treats all his followers with equal contempt (with only occasional respect) REGARDLESS of gender. And Darkseid would consider it debasing himself to sleep with an underling. He has harems of females of all dispositions to choose from and that are trained specifically for that purpose. Granny was trained for war, not being a goddamn concubine! WTF is this writer smoking? This story insults Darkseid.
    It Aldo fundamentally bastardized the hierarchy on Apocolips. Granny Is a respected powerhouse who would never tolerate the high school antics perpetuated by a group of cliche written men. I’m guessing this writer uses Gillette to shave her legs?
    Pathetic.

  2. Now ask yourself what was going through this woman’s mind when she wrote this, because it certainly wasn’t to entertain you.

  3. I think there is point where you are insulting your audience’s intelligence, and this book certainly found it. Instead of coming up with a clever allegory that shows in-character how Darkseid and his generals use their power to pray on these women. We are given this borderline absurdist parody of Harvey Weinstein and frankly it loses it’s powerful message it’s attempting to get across.

    I’m not sure why they decided to go this route and it’s a going for a female demographic well you lost this one.

  4. This book asks the question, “Wouldn’t it have been great if Eva Braun had ‘Leaned In?'”
    Nope. Fascism is fascism, even if it’s in a power suit with matching heels.
    I’ll keep reading to see if this book takes a turn, but if this is just “women are just as good at executing drone strikes as men,” then I’m out.

    • If I follow correctly, you’re pointing to the fact that superficial equality, when under a blatantly unjust system–like Apokolips–is still unjust. If so, I get that, and it’s definitely a valid point. The end of the book leads me to believe that’s not where we’re headed, but that’s how I interpreted it. Like you said, the only way to find out is to keep reading and hope for the best.

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