We finish out the bottom five of my top ten comics of 2012 with a book that should surprise no one… FURY MAX BY GARTH ENNIS, GORAN PARLOV, AND OTHERS!
I picked the perfect summer to read American Tabloid by James Ellroy, didn’t I? Ennis owes Ellroy a debt in how he’s writing Fury MAX, but that isn’t really what makes it such a great comic. Sure, grabbing a few things from a truly great piece of fiction never hurt. A lot of what Ennis does with Fury is stuff we’ve seen before in the few times that Ennis has written Nick Fury in the past. He’s always written him as a hard man, cruel and lonely, but usually one who recognises his place in the world. If possible, Fury wants to make the world better and make sure as few innocents die. The closest we saw to him not doing that was in the first Fury series Ennis did — and that was the point. The character had gotten old and desperate for something. Here, he’s still young and all he wants to do his job well and make the world ‘better.’ Often, he learns that he didn’t. There’s a sense that this is a history of Nick Fury’s failures. His self-delusion that he was a good person in any way. That his actions had any nobility. He leaved Indo-China in one arc on the side of a man, returns two arcs later to kill him. What changed? Politics. Is there a point? Probably not.
Parlov is one of my favourite artists to work with Ennis. He draws hard men well. He draws violence well. His Nick Fury is a man of stone that looks more cracked as we go on. Old Fury narrating… that man is unhinged but we see that only around the edges sometimes. This is a messy comic and Parlov captures that. Much like no one can draw Ennis scenes of two men shooting the shit in a bar like Steve Dillon, few can draw violent Ennis comics like Parlov.
If I did a list for 2013 (and I won’t), this would make it again most likely.
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