Comic writer Greg Pak interviews Rob Williams about Miss Fury #10 and the on-going time travel story that is updating the classic character for a modern audience. What is the future of the Dynamite series? Read on…
GREG PAK: Rob, you're doing some pretty wild stuff with MISS FURY, updating a character from the Golden Age with a trippy time travel storyline. What should someone who hasn't been reading the book know to pick up with the latest issue?
ROB WILLIAMS: Well, first off #10 is drawn by Jack Herbert, who's brilliant and is going to be a big star in the business, I'm pretty confident. Jack's been doing some stellar work on Miss Fury throughout.
And #10 is a pretty straightforward linear self-enclosed story. Miss Fury has been taken in by US Intelligence in WW2 and they want to use her as a killer for hire. All these pulp heroes have sprung up and they need a pulp hero of their own. Miss Fury's still struggling with the fact that she doesn't want to be a killer, but she needs intel about the location of her missing lover in Nazi Germany, so she's forced to play along. Her target is a mobster who's decided to take up wearing a mask and a cape, and is calling himself 'The Mob'. The fact that he was deputised by US Intelligence in order to keep the New York docklands free of Nazi agents and sabouters has led him to believe that he's a superhero, and he's started wearing a mask and cape. Think Tony Soprano as a pulp hero.
GP: I haven't had the guts (or maybe the brains) to tackle a time travel storyline yet — seems like such a challenge to make the various conundrums and paradoxes work out. What techniques or principles do you use to keep it all straight in your head?
RW: I wonder the same thing myself. I thought it'd be fun and challenging and different to do a non-linear time travel tale, where the pieces all get fitted together like a jigsaw at the end, and you get the chance to see a three-dimensional character in Miss Fury as a result. She may start out seeming like a sassy, immoral Catwoman-type, but when you see her past, and her future, you see why she is who she is and that there's a lot more to her than that.
Which is all fine in principle, but it's a real brainfart to keep track of. I kept notes, Had certain things tied down. Other parts of it were fluid as we went, which allows for some much needed spontaneity along the way. But yeah, you're right. It's not the easiest thing to write. I swore halfway through our storyline that I wasn't going near a time travel story for a while.
GP: You mentioned in another interview that Miss Fury may have been the first female superhero to be written by a woman writer. Can you tell us a bit about the original creators of the book and how their take on the character might have inspired you?
RW: Well, I'm no scholar on the subject but my understanding is that June Tarpe Mills was the first female writer/artist of these pulp heroes in 1941, and that she created Miss Fury to resemble herself. When we started this run we wanted to stay true to the character's origins – WW2 Manhattan socialite, fights crime, wears a catsuit, sassy – but we also wanted to go in different directions. Just bringing her to the present day wasn't enough. I figured that had been done a lot. Ditto keeping her in WW2. So lets have her skip through time, not knowing why that's happening. That's a pretty fun mystery to solve. And I wanted to try and give her some depth, have her not be just another bored sassy soclialite fighting crime for kicks.
GP: Who's your favorite supporting character in the book and why?
RW: Schauburger was kind of fun to write. Mad, time-travelling Nazi science ghost. What's not to like, aside from the Nazi thing? And, even though he was a late addition, I thought The Mob had some energy to him.
There was scope to have some fun with that.
RW: Hulk smash. Miss Fury looks smashing in her outfit. That's my glib answer. My earnest one is that part of the theme of the book was 'she's called Miss Fury, so what has she got to be angry about?' We've all got things to be angry about, or we should have. Just look at what's going on in the world on any given day. If you're not angry about something then you're not living right.
For more on Miss Fury #10 go here.