A Writer's Commentary: Corinna Bechko talks Miss Fury #5, the grand finale, on sale now from Dynamite. Cover by Tula Lotay and interiors by Jonathan Lau.
Since this is the fifth and final issue of this miniseries, I wanted to pull back a little and show that these events weren't happening in a vacuum. I always wanted this story to be grounded in the time period, and that means WWII. So here's a little reminder of this, as well as something that will be important to the plot later.
And now we are back in the action with our hero. Things aren't going so well just now.
I absolutely loved working with Jonathan Lau. Every time I saw the art for this book I wanted to write my editor and thank him for pairing us up. This was a demanding script (being married to an artist and hearing his perspective gives me a pretty good sense of that) so all respect to Jonathan for making it so much more than what I envisioned.
Page 4 & 5:
Because this is the finale, there's a lot of action, and a lot of Miss Fury really mixing it up. I didn't want to shy away from that, so she gets hit pretty hard sometimes. I think if you take it upon yourself to fight crime (or, you know, interdimensional demons) you're probably going to end up pretty bruised.
Page 6 & 7:
And it's not like Marla can't hit back. She can, and she does. And Jonathan makes it all feel really visceral, which is fantastic.
I like to change scenes on a page turn, when possible, and even though this issue is pretty jam-packed, it did happen here. I thought it was important to have a quiet, desperate moment in the middle of all that action. Without pauses action can become a wall that doesn't admit much thinking, and I try to write in a way that invites participation on the part of the reader.
Now we're back with the action. I personally find drowning and giant waves pretty scary, so sometimes that translates into what happens on the page. From the start I knew we'd end up on the sea – that was the whole point of the mystery about the ship building plans, of course – and that, to me, means a scary, angry ocean.
Jonathan did an absolutely beautiful job with this splash. All my inner ocean demons made manifest!
Finally, Marla asks the most important question. The cult members are still rapturous, but I love that Jonathan has rendered them so that you can tell that at least a couple are starting to have doubts even though they're wearing masks.
I'm really happy with how this page turned out. The action is completely clear, and we get a sense of what Marla's up against by seeing her against just a small part of the creature. To me, this illustrates the size and weight of what's going on much better than if we had seen the whole thing with Marla tiny in frame.
The return of the cat! This is the scene I was leading up to the whole time. From the beginning I liked the notion that Marla was the cat… And yet, maybe she isn't really. The only important thing is what she believes – and that is left just a little bit open so that the reader can make their own decisions.
Did Marla make this leap herself? Or did the cat do it? Either way, she's a woman of action, so she's going to act instead of worrying about it. To me, that attitude is what makes her a great action hero, and a big part of what made her so much fun to write.
She's got to be careful now, so this is a silent page as she creeps back on board, newly emboldened. That last silhouetted panel is one of my favorites.
Page 16 & 17:
Of course, things can't be too easy. She's got one final fight on her hands, and she's got to win. But even in her Miss Fury guise, she can't forget that she's also Marla, a woman with friends and a life outside of fighting evil.
Page 18 & 19:
Giant action! Everything is coming apart, and it's a violent mess. The colors really help tell the story here, moving from the cool, spooky pallet we've been seeing to some really sharp, warm colors. Nicely done, Vinicius Andrade!
Page 20 & 21:
The aftermath. Marla won, with some help from her friends, but no one emerged unscathed. So there's a lot of grief mixed into the victory here. And I should take a moment and point out what a great job Simon Bowland did with the lettering on this whole series. I've worked with Simon a lot lately, and he always brings something extra to the feel of a work. It's easy for lettering to be sterile, or distracting, but here it all works with the mood and tone of the story.
The end… And a heroic pose from our hero! She's battered, but not broken, a bit wiser, but no less ready to face whatever's coming next. In case it wasn't already clear, I have a great affection for Miss Fury, and I'm thrilled I had the chance to write this story for Dynamite!