Mad Max Fury Road: Furiosa #1 – Comic Review

This comic has a Mature rating, and is pitched at older readers

Mad Max Fury Road: Furiosa #1 tells the story of five women kept inside a vault, who set out with Imperator Furiosa for escape and freedom. Mad Max Fury Road: Furiosa #1 offers:

  • Artwork that shows strong, mature scenes and gives insight through body language.
  • Themes of slavery, equality, and environmental protection.
  • A message from the film: humans are not objects.

Artwork is violent in this comic. Furiosa’s body language reveals some insights into her character.

The artwork depicts a dangerous and violent future. Immortan Joe, with help from the Organic Mechanic, pursues and assaults the five young women kept in captivity: Toast the Knowing, Splendid Angharad, Capable, Dag, and Cheedo the Fragile. While no scenes of assault are shown, several characters react to off panel violence. The artwork sets a distressing tone, with shadows, thunder, lighting, blood and darkness.

Character body language and facial expression gives information for Furiosa’s character. Her dialogue is kept brief. She always stands when other characters enter the room. She sits and makes gestures with her hands only when she is alone with the five women.

Furiosa is a silent, stoic character with an outward persona concealing her plans to find The Green Place. Ms Giddy teaches the five women, and is the first to see the women as humans, and not objects.

At the beginning, a story teller with tattoos similar to Ms.Giddy’s body artwork appears. She and the story teller are living historical artifacts. The ink tells the history of the world in minuscule writing. The storyteller cautions agains history repeating itself, saying that history stands between us, and the future. We repeat it if we do not understand it.

Ms Giddy is the first to regard the five captive women as human, and not objects. In short conversation with Furiosa, she says: “These are fine young women with strong minds. But if they stay here, they will perish, and with them all hope. They need a leader”.

Furiosa is a silent guardian, watching over everyone, and the portal separating the five women from the wastelands outside. She gives a description of the Green Place. A memory of when she was taken. From what she recounts, the history of The Green place is an oasis in the wasteland: “The Land of Many Mothers, there were plants, trees, and animals”.

Up until this point in the story, Furiosa is stoic, and silent. The impression is that she survived so long under the iron brutality of the tyrannical world by keeping a powerful persona to protect herself, while slowly planning a way to escape.

Time and History are a large theme here, but importantly, the comic makes a statement that people are not things – women are not objects. The comic repeats and expounds the message of the film.

Preservation of the human race, and of history, are what’s at stake in the story playing out here. All the characters know that human life on earth could end from drought, starvation, and poison. Their hope for the future is agriculture inside the citadel, and five young women who are not infected with the wastelands poison.

The comic does not shy away from showing the captivity and slavery. Human future is at stake, but the women are used to ensure one man’s future, rather than the best future.

Ms. Giddy and Furiosa have a vision for the future, with equality and clean air and water for a community. The deluded military leader Immortan Joe only wants to permanently brand and imprint himself on the world forever. All life must reflect his image.

This is my Ms. Giddy, the preserver of history, and Furiosa, a warrior and survivor, are heroic. They stood up to the Immortan despite his success in reshaping most of what is left of the wasteland world into a reflection of himself. The large scale themes of equality against slavery, and an environmental message play out from this conflict. Time and history are a large theme here, where characters with significant wisdom advise everyone to understand the past of repeat it.

More importantly, Giddy and Furiosa make a statement in their actions that the women he kept captive are people and not objects. The white, painted letters from the film Mad Max: Fury Road appear here again, when one of the women says “we are not things”, repeating a strong message of the film.

Mad Max Fury Road: Furiosa #1 is published by Vertigo Comics. ($4.99 USD) George Miller (Story.) Nico Lathouris and Mark Sexton (Script.) Mark Sexton, Tristain Jones, and Szymon Kudranski (A.) Michael Spicer (C.) Clem Robins (L.) Cover artwork by Tommy Lee Edwards.

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