Black Fury (comics)
The first Black Fury debuted on April 6, 1941, as a Sunday comic strip distributed by the Bell Syndicate, and created by artist Tarpé Mills. Originally called the Black Fury within the story itself though not as the strip's title, she eventually became known as Miss Fury; her alter ego was wealthy socialite Marla Drake. Miss Fury had no innate superpowers, but gained increased strength and speed when she donned a special skintight catsuit when fighting crime. Drake's alter-ego combatted several regular villains,including mad scientist Diman Saraf and Nazi agents Erica Von Kampf and General Bruno. Drake was also involved in a love triangle with her former fiancé, Gary Hale, and Detective Dan Carey. Although Miss Fury was popular, the revealing outfits worn by its female characters provoked some controversy at the time. When Marla Drake was drawn wearing a bikini in 1947, 37 newspapers dropped the strip in response. The Miss Fury strip ran until 1952. Marvel Comics (then known as Timely Comics) reprinted her Sunday strips in comic book form from 1942 to 1946.
In 1979 Archival Press reissued her early adventures in graphic novel format, with new covers by Mills.
The second Black Fury premiered in Fox Feature Syndicate's Fantastic Comics #17 (April 1941). This version was created by artists Dennis Neville and Mark Howell. Black Fury was the alter ego of John Perry, gossip columnist for the Daily Clarion. Perry used his newspaper connections to uncover information on crime and corruption, which he would then fight in his costumed form. He had no superpowers, and was assisted by Chuck Marley, the son of a slain policeman. The Fox Black Fury character appeared in eight issues of Fantastic Comics.
The third Black Fury appeared in Super-Magic Comics #1 (May 1941), published by Street & Smith Publications. There were no writing or artists credited. Black Fury was the secret identity of Rex King, a costumed adventurer who could glide through the air, using the wing-like underarm flaps of his costume. He defended the jungles of Africa with the help of his pet black panther, Kato.
The fourth Black Fury was created by Matt Baker, and debuted in Fox Feature Syndicate's Zoot #9 (Oct. 1947). This was a female criminal who used trained black panthers to battle the jungle goddess Rulah. She appeared in a story entitled "Fangs of Black Fury".
The fifth Black Fury debuted in Charlton Comics' Black Fury #1 (May 1955). This character was a horse that roamed the West righting wrongs, bearing some resemblance to the 1955–1960 NBC Saturday-morning TV series Fury (for which Dell Publishing released a tie-in comic-book series). The Charlton comic featured artwork by Dick Giordano and Rocco "Rocke" Mastroserio and lasted 58 issues.
Tarpé Mills's Miss Fury was revived in a four-issue mini-series published in 1991 by Adventure Comics (an imprint of Malibu Comics). In that series, we learned that the new Miss Fury (Marlene Hale) is the granddaughter of the original. Marlene's Aunt Stephanie also becomes a costumed adventurer, called The Black Fury. A battle between the two ends when both fall into a vat of chemicals.
This version of Miss Fury would return in Malibu Comics' Protectors series, in issues 10–12. Black Fury (who no longer remembers her own name due to the earlier accident) has kidnapped the grandson of President Brian O'Brien; O'Brien was formerly the Clock. Miss Fury helps the Protectors rescue the boy, but Black Fury slips away.
Miss Fury would continue to appear in the pages of The Protectors until the series ended with issue #20 in 1994.
The original Miss Fury also saw a brief cameo reappearance in 2008 when Marvel Comics published the first issue of the series The Twelve. She was depicted as part of an army of 1940s costumed heroes storming Berlin, Nazi Germany during the final days of World War II.
In November 2012,the Golden Age Miss Fury appeared in the Dynamite Entertainment comic Masks, where she joined with other comic and pulp-magazine heroes (including Zorro, the Shadow and the Green Hornet) to combat the villainous "Party of Justice". In April 2013 Dynamite began publishing a comic book with an updated version of the Golden Age Miss Fury.
- Trina Robbins,A Century of Women Cartoonists. Northampton, Mass. : Kitchen Sink Press, 1993. ISBN 0878162062 (pp. 62, 67–70,83).
- Ron Goulart, The Adventurous Decade: Comic Strips in the Thirties.New Rochelle, N.Y. : Arlington House, 1975, ISBN 087000252X (p.180-1)
- Markstein, Don, Miss Fury, Don Markstein's Toonopedia, archived from the original on 2012-04-09
- "IDW Publishing Solicitations for October 2013" Comic Book Resources, July 12th, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: Lee, Syaf & Francavilla Cover "Masks" #1" Comic Book Resources. August 17, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2015.