Review: FEMALE FURIES #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Adriana Melo
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Reviewed by: Tony Farina
Sometime in the past, we see a slightly younger, but still pretty old-looking Granny Goodness be up to no good. She commits a murder, imprisons a woman and steals a child and swaps him for a baby. So, you know, Wednesday. The thing that makes this particular Wednesday special is that the baby is Scott Free.
Cut to: Now. Barda is in mourning. The rest of the Furies are plotting. Scott is there and he spills his guts to her in the style of a James Bond villain. No secrets, here it is.
Cut to: Then: Granny’s orphanage of doom. Children are literally being killed in the name of training. A young Scott and a young Barda manage to escape from a room of acid. Granny is impressed and so she gives them hugs and cookies. Just kidding.
Cut to: Now. Scott and Barda remember all of the horror. She decides to help him escape. That triggers a sexist, bureaucratic nightmare. The Furies continue to plot. Brainwashing is bad.
Listen people, I keep giving this book five stars because it is simply the smartest, best drawn, social commentary comic disguised as a super hero book going. OK. That is too many qualifiers. This book is amazing. The social commentary is spot on. After Barda is caught, she is giving the literal run around by half-witted men who only see her as an incapable woman who is “just a member of the furies.” It is so frustrating because, unfortunately, it rings totally true.
Check out this brilliant bit of dialogue from Castellucci:
“To make a complaint about protectorate officers fill out these forms. As a woman, you have not authority to make a legal complain. You’ll have to get a man, any man, to sign off that what you claim is true. It’s the law.”
Seriously? That is simply maddening and spot on and brilliant and it makes me want to punch something and sob.
As has been the case from panel one of issue one, Adriana Melo is projecting herself into the Fourth World, watching the furies and doing drawings that she brings back to share with us. There are so many facial expressions that tell the story. If you read this book without the dialogue, you could follow it all. She simply knows how to make these characters pop. It is so good. I want posters of each panel. Feast your eyes.
While this issue does pass the Bechdel test, because Barda does not sit and talk about Scott, it is a bit Scott-centric. Don’t get me wrong. I like him. He is important. I get it. Still, the book is called Female Furies, not Mr. Miracle. That book exists.
If you are not reading Female Furies yet, then I don’t know what is wrong with you. If you are a Sociology teacher, you should make this required reading in every single class. Buy a copy and then share it. Buy ten copies and hand them out. Be the person who said, “Oh Furies won the Eisner? I was reading that from the beginning.”