With this months issue #11, Rob Williams and Dynamite will be bringing the tale of Miss Fury to a close for a while. Bryon Brewer chatted with Williams about the series, the time-traveling aspects and the cyber Nazis.
ROB WILLIAMS: I'd been talking to Dynamite about doing more work for them – I'd previously written Robocop for the company. Nick Barrucci asked if I was interested in pitching for a new Miss Fury series. Their pulp heroes line was doing well and I guess she seemed a natural fit.
BB: How did that initial "World War II heroine coping in the crazy 21st century" concept come about? Do you think it helped or hindered the book in its nascent issues?
RW: Well, that's not really what we did. I thought bringing the WW2 hero to modern day and having them be the fish our of water had been done too often before. And having her stay in her original era was fine, but again, I felt other pulp books were doing that. So I decided to make it a non-linear time travel story. Miss Fury falls into a time machine and then flips continually between eras and she doesn't know what is real and what is insanity. That allowed us to send her into the future too. It was challenging and made the book a lot more inventive, I think. It may have made it tough to follow for certain readers. But I think if you stuck with us, it was a smart, challenging read. I wanted it to be kind of inventive.
RW: Probably trying to convince people that there's a lot more to her than the sexy femme fatale assasin type. She is that, but I wanted to create this jigsaw puzzle of a three-dimensional character through the non-linear time travel snippets. She's damaged, and you find out why during the book's first arc. Then it's an attempt at redemption. She's a killer, she's very good at being a killer. Can she ever be happy?
BB: Were there any stories from past iterations of the character you wanted to use in your version?
RW: No. We wanted to take the original character and then take her in new directions. I didn't see the point in rehashing old material.
BB: Were you a fan of the character before working on her story for Dynamite?
RW: I wasn't. I was vaguely familiar regarding her and her background but I didn't have a huge amount of knowledge of the character. I did some research. You should always do the research.
BB: Really? Cyborg Nazis?!
RW: Always Cyborg Nazis. Actually, there's no cyborg nazis in it. They're time travel agents in body armour. But, yes. ALWAYS CYBORG NAZIS.
BB: The truth about time travel vs. insanity angle and the manipulation of Marla Drake in #4-5was certainly shocking and painful – for readers and for her — and you had seeded that since #1. How was this received by readers?
RW: Do you know, I have no idea. I've read reviews that have been pretty positive, and some readers via twitter have been pretty positive. If people did dislike the non-linear time travel approack I imagine they bailed rather than shouted angry emails at me. That was the plan and, like you say, it was seeded in #1.
BB: Every hero has what I call a "duality battle," i.e., a battle with an alter ego, and Miss Fury's comes in #8. A great story to read but how was that to plot/script as a writer? Fun … or just $#@%?
RW: Ah, without wanting to spoil what happens at the conclusion of that two-issue arc, I felt pretty guilty about that. When you're writing a protagonist you really should put them through hell. Make them make big ethical decisions that will define them going forward. I forget who said it but 'it"s not enough to put their lives on the line, you have to put their souls on the line too.' And that's what I did to Marla there. You meet an alternate version of you and, to get the love of your life back, you have to murder them. What do you do?
BB: With #11 ending her saga, did you get to tell the Miss Fury saga you wanted?
RW: I did, although I had to tie it up a little faster than I;d have liked. But the storylines all get their answers, I think. #11 is a really dense issue in terms of what it ties up. But I think we pulled it off.
RW: My creator-owned series with D'israeli, ORDINARY, launches May 28th from Titan Comics. THE ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR is currently running from Vertigo, by myself and Si Coleby. I have a few Marvel and DC things on the way that aren't announced yet, and I'm writing a new series of THE GRIEVOUS JOURNEY OF ICHABOD AZREAL for 2000AD currently. So, busy! I'll miss Miss Fury though.
For more on Miss Fury #11, go here.