Exclusive interview: She is not just another Catwoman: Rob Williams talks about his work on Miss Fury
No, it’s not Catwoman! But another female fury is getting noticed on the comics shelves these days. Miss Fury, the acrobatic heroine of the World War II era, is now making soundwaves in the modern world in her own Dynamite ongoing. Or is she?
To find out if Marla Drake is a time traveler, insane or just drop-dead gorgeous in a Diana Rigg-type of manner, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively sat down with scribe Rob Williams.
Cosmic Book News: So, Rob, how did the Miss Fury revival come about and how did you get the gig?
Rob Williams: I was talking to Nick Barrucci at Dynamite about possible projects and Nick asked if I knew about Miss Fury. I had some very limited knowledge. I was aware that she was a 1940s pulp hero with some Catwoman similarities. I did some research and put a pitch together,
Rob Williams: She might be. You'll have to wait and see. She's either flipping randomly through different times and encountering a plot by shape-shifting Nazi agents or she's still in 1943 and her mind has been snapped by a traumatic experience. She doesn't know which is correct and neither does the reader. Part of this journey is her emotional arc -- coming to terms with something extremely upsetting that happens to her -- and part of it is her having to fight World War II in 2013 and beyond. It's a big Hollywood action movie with a heart.
Rob Williams: It's trying to do something that feels vaguely fresh with the femme fatale heroine. Making her more than T&A in a catsuit. I didn't have any interest in writing just another titialating Catwoman-esque book. Miss Fury does the martial arts and acrobatic high kicks that you'd expect from such a character but this series is also about piecing together the jigsaw puzzle of Marla Drake's character. She may initially seem like just another bad girl hero but, hopefully, as we progress, you'll get a real sense of the person inside that costume. Oh, and writing non-linear time travel stories is HARD. “Keep it simple, stupid” is a good writing note.
Rob Williams: No. We wanted to come in fresh without past continuity. Make this a story you can pick up if you've never heard of Miss Fury before.
Rob Williams: I wasn't that aware of her, to be honest, past some pretty surface-level knowledge. But the fact that she was the first female comic hero to be written by a woman gives her some gravitas, I think. That put added pressure on me to try and make the character fully formed and not a cleavage-fest.
Rob Williams: The scorecard is in my brain. And it hurts. I have notes. I do know where this is going (honest). And we calm down from the non-linear time travel after issue five. But I wanted to freshen the concept up. Just having her be “bored Manhattan socialite Marla Drake who dons a costume by night” seemed to have been done to death previously. The time-travel aspect, played the way it is rather than “1940s character comes to our time” is our attempt to make this book something different. We've not gone for the easy route here.
Rob Williams: No! Time traveling, shape-shifting armored Nazis! Thank you very much.
Rob Williams: She's being manipulated, yes. And you'll find out by who in #4. The major clue is right up front in the opening scene of issue one, actually. But it's all about who she believes.
Rob Williams: Jack's terrific. I've been thrilled with his work on the book. He does the heavy black and white ‘40s pulp era so well but he's also excelled at the big crazy action sequences. There's a sequence in #4 which is just huge in a Bryan Hitch/Authority style and he pulled it off amazingly well. This is a really challenging book. Different time eras, lots of reference. Disparate architecture and fashions. And he's got to get across the personalities of these characters and make Miss Fury look sensational. He's done all that in style. Jack will deserve a holiday at the end of this initial arc.
Rob Williams: I have a number of Judge Dredds on the way from 2000AD, including one with RM Guera (Scalped) which I'm excited about. There's a new series of The Ten-Seconders, my “human resistance fights alien gods” series, on the way. Again, via 2000AD. I have an Adventures of Superman story coming with amazing art by Chris Weston (The Filth). The thing I'm most excited about right now though is my creator-owned series Ordinary. That's due in the latter part of the year. I think it's the best thing I've written.
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Rob Williams for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. We also would like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.
“Miss Fury” #4 hits shelves July 3!