“Lindsay Lohan with super powers.”
I don’t know about you but just the idea of that scares the crap out of me.
In Bryan J. L. Glass and Victor Santos‘ newest collaboration, “Furious,” we see a character that I can’t help but imagine was invented when somebody said something like that out loud…possibly in a bar…probably late at night. And while that thought alone would certainly make for some interesting reading, like a car crash is interesting viewing, multiple Harvey Award winning writer Bryan Glass in his first entirely original project, has taken us right from the start in an unexpected direction and given us instead a Superhero.
In the tradition of Batman, Spiderman, Ironman and who knows how many others, Glass has plunged into the pool of troubled protagonists with perhaps one of the most innovative examples of “trouble” I’ve seen in quite some time. Cadence “Cady” Lark is the name of his fallen starlet and with the preview and first two issues in hand I am irritatingly hooked on the scattered bread crumbs Mr. Glass has thus far fed us regarding our heroine’s story.
Unlike the real life rehab princess mentioned above, Cadence is truly tragic. Driven from an early age to ascend to great heights and yet always, inevitably, the root cause of her own downfall. Somehow Glass manages to keep her accessible to the reader by writing her without the grotesque ego common to those non-fictional stars who served as his inspiration, a character flaw only briefly visited and seemingly atrophied after Cady’s many falls from grace.
The strength of this tale is in its confusion, a puzzle in the way of any addicting mystery with each new clue revealed leaving the reader but briefly satiated before yet more questions come to mind. Glass teases these details out around story filled with extremes of violent action and the naiveté of the world’s first super heroine stumbling up the steepest of learning curves. Lark’s alter ego, aptly named “Furious” by the press despite her own desire to be known as “The Beacon”, is a flying, fast and super strong cauldron of rage always on the verge of boiling over, rage which is in fact part of the secret to her unnatural abilities.
Victor Santos’ artwork is my only real issue with this book. The deliberate crudeness of his style, while popular with many, is decidedly not to my taste, though in my opinion admittedly better than his work from this team’s other major project, the outstanding “Mice Templar” from Image Comics, where Mr. Santos may have felt constrained by the distinctive yet at times just plain confusing simplistic style choice of that comic book’s creator, Michael Avon Oeming. My personal bias against this particular type of drawing notwithstanding, I must say that the artist does an excellent job of giving each character a unique look, be it the work of a single panel or (spoiler alert!) a deliberately difficult to differentiate (but not impossible) mystery character whose first subtle appearance is even creepier than her last. No emotion is lost or easily confused despite Mr. Santos’ broad style, making his work on this title a strong argument for what it is possible to create with a minimalist’s eye for reality.
All things considered I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this new entry from Dark Horse Comics and I would definitely recommend adding this five issue miniseries to the other books you pick up on Wednesday. I think Glass and Santos have themselves a winner here and hopefully they can find their audience, not an easy task. If they do, maybe someday Cadence Lark will get another of her many second chances, and get “Furious,” for us all over again.
Coming soon, The Rogue’s Return.