Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Fury MAX Review (Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson)


I knew this was going to be good from the first page: 

“Colonel Fury?”
“Kill them all.” 

Garth Ennis. Darick Robertson. Nick Fury. MAX. So this is a Marvel comic that’s definitely not for the kids! It’s also fan-fucking-tastic! 

Nick (classic Fury, ie. the white dude not Sam Jackson) is bored. SHIELD is staffed by pencil pushers, his puny surrogate nephew Wendel is making him suicidal out of sheer embarrassment, and he’s not allowed to smoke indoors; where’s an old dinosaur like him meant to fit into the modern world? Nick Fury needs a war. Luckily an old Cold War enemy is going to deliver one. 

If you’re not sure what the MAX part of the title is, it means this is an adult Marvel comic - swearing/sex/drugs/extreme violence are all on the table for these books. Ennis takes full advantage right off the bat having guys screaming “FUCK!” as Fury storms a South American drug cartel shooting guys in the head left and right. 

Ennis writes a brilliant Nick Fury – the best in my mind. A grizzled older guy, the consummate man’s man, the ultimate soldier - seeing this character deal with the modern world in an unimpressed, increasingly hostile way, is a joy. There are also typical Ennis characters like Wendel, a cartoonish nerd who is so over the top wimpy, he’s hysterical. Fury and Wendel’s relationship is like Arseface and his dad all over again. And speaking of Preacher, there’s a character in this called Fuckface with another character referencing him with Arseface indirectly. Fury MAX couldn’t be more of a Garth Ennis comic! 

It goes from being funny watching Fury deal with SHIELD’s bureaucracy to really exciting once the war on the Pacific island kicks off. Ennis is THE writer for war comics though the action here is completely over-the-top Hollywood-ized violence that suits the Marvel universe and this kind of story rather than his more realistic war comics. Artist Darick Robertson also looks to be having a blast drawing insanely gory imagery, really pushing the limits of the MAX title to bring to life the horrors of war - such terrific artwork from a master. 

I also loved those last couple of pages which indicates the direction Ennis takes the character in his later Fury MAX series, My War Gone By. I recommend checking that out as well as another Ennis/Robertson collaboration, Fury: Peacemaker, for more terrific Marvel war comics. 

Fury MAX is enormously good fun. Nick Fury, like Frank Castle, is the perfect type of character for Garth Ennis to write for Marvel and he does so beautifully. If you’re an Ennis fan who likes his Punisher, Preacher or The Boys comics, you’ll get a lot out of this one. Furiously entertaining to the MAX!

Fury MAX

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