Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: 'Furious' #1

My initial thought while reading Dark Horse's "FURIOUS" #1 was that readers would inaccurately and rashly equate it with Marvel's "Kick-Ass". Real life superhero stirs up media attention chaos ensues. I cannot stress enough; cannot articulate precisely how much the similarities end there. What Bryan J. L. Glass has created is a very current and relevant look at how our access to social media can transform a person, whether they're conscious of it or not. Glass is showing us how a superhero would survive a 21st century, millennial generation, information-obsessed world.

WRITTEN BY: Bryan J. L. Glass

ART BY: Victor Santos

PRICE: $3.99

RELEASE: January 29, 2014

Cadence Lark (the person) aka The Beacon (the person's superhero identity) aka Furious (the person's media appointed moniker) can't escape negative attention no matter how much she tries to avoid it. Trying in vain to atone for her sin-laden past, Lark dons a superhero identity--the world's first real superhero -- to right her wrongs by helping others. But the media--her strongest, toughest, most omniscient foe won't let her reach her much desired redemption. After Lark (as The Beacon) is caught on camera pounding the pulp out of "serial abusers," a local news reporter dubs her as Furious -- a name that sticks, making her a pinup for the bad guys and a menace to the good ones. It doesn't matter that she always manages to save someone. It's her brutal tactics, her apropos furious nature that always gets memorexed.

Glass skillfully peppers the issue with all forms of social media: broadcast news, tabloids, BookFace (Facebook), Tweeter (Twitter), blog posts, newspapers, etc., creating an environment his audience is all too familiar with -- a tactic that furtively pulls the reader down a very real emotional rabbit hole. The realer the comic, the realer the emotional response. The issue's execution of social media exploits explores all three identities of this one woman, each identity taking on vastly distinctive roles: a murderous fame whore (Lark), a tortured superhero (The Beacon), and a misjudged villain (Furious).

The real question is who is the real woman hiding inside Lark and which personality will the mounting pressures of media bring to the surface permanently?

And therein lies the true essence of "Furious" #1. Who are we, and what drives our motivations to become the person we truly are inside?

I was immediately drawn to this comic for two reasons, 1.) I'm infatuated with human nature. What compels us to do what we do and/or become who we become? And 2.) I have a gauche captivation with today's need for instant information, whether it's correct or not, relevant or not, worth my time or not. Social media is ever-present, hovering over every minute of our lives, feeding us useless, often erroneous information as if that little Twitter bird is actually sitting on our shoulder chirping superfluous and harmful information in our ear.

Our girl, The Beacon, has fallen victim to this Twitter bird and can't seem to set the record straight. She's not Furious. She wants to do the right thing. She wants absolution.

An unreasonable feat considering her temper.

Victor Santos positively kills it with the art. The emotion in his characters' faces and body language is palpable. The fear, the anger, the distress it is all there, illustrated to perfection. Each of Lark's identities are very diverse in appearance to match their diverse nature. Even the coloring feels distinctive with each identity's panel time. The slightly muted colors add a nice contrast to the occasional vivid coloring of more dramatic scenes.

This is a comic book with implications and escalating consequences. A standout start to what I can only imagine is going to be a stellar comic with some harsh reality infused into a completely badass storyline. Because what I haven't doled out yet is that The Beacon will be The Beacon for as long as that little angel sits on her shoulder. But that angel has a shelf life and that shelf life is called Furious.


Review by - Bree Ogden
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