Furious #1 (Dark Horse) Review

The creative team behind Mice Templar brings us a brand new superhero with an identity crisis.

Life isn’t easy when you’re the first superhero in a world full of camera phones. The struggle is very real for The Beacon, a rage-filled woman searching for redemption. But in these opening pages, she’s not facing off with a supervillain or a gang of thugs.

The Beacon’s true enemy is the media. This is the note Mice Templar creators Brian J. L. Glass and Victor Santos want to strike in Furious.

From the start, you’re introduced to the television screen. Sensationalists, celebrity craze, shouting pundits, and muckraking. It’s the toxic that has contaminated the minds of the population. It’s the dastardly villain that could bring The Beacon’s world down.

Our hero has already fallen victim to the media after the cameras caught her beating a group of criminals to a pulp. No matter how many times she corrects people, telling them her name is The Beacon, they call her Furious. A not-so-subtle allegory for the way media interprets real people, twisting them into caricatures for ratings.

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Of course, there is that little part about The Beacon’s inability to control her anger once she’s in the flow of things. Although she might mean well, she can’t keep her fists to herself once provoked. Perhaps the message here is that, in the end, you are whatever the media says you are.

Behind the story of the hero, which is pretty standard as far as superhero comics go — the misunderstood hero who is at first labeled a public menace before the city welcomes her as its protector — is an even more interesting element.

The Beacon’s alter-ego, the person behind the mask, is the true prize. Constant tabloid fodder, Cadence Lark is known as a power-hungry murderer, a prime example of what happens when fame transforms a person into a villain. We know too many of those celebrities in real life. Cadence is no different. Now forced to hide behind a pair of sunglasses and a hood, she seeks to live a “normal” life. Of course, normal to her means flying around a city beating criminals senseless.

The true story, the one we’re all waiting for, is how we got to this point. What drove Cadence Lark to the edge? She didn’t just shave her head or overdose or hold her baby over a balcony. Cadence Lark decided to fight back against a villain she knows far too well: herself.

This is a very good start for this new limited series. If Mice Templar is any indication, Glass is very good at telling epic stories that are at once intimate and captivating. Along with Santo’s beautiful illustrations, Glass has laid down the foundation for a wonderful new yarn.

Furious #1Writer: Brian J. L. GlassArtist: Victor Santos

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4 out of 5