Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Fury MAX #13

With the last issue of their maxi-series, FURY MAX: My War Gone By, the creative team of Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov stick the landing to a bleak and depressing issue that highlights the cost and futility of war. This series needs to be cherished, it'll probably be a long time before we see something like this ever come from the "Big 2" again.

First off the series deserves a big shoutout because the inclusion of classic (re: white) Nick Fury in his own series, even set in the MAX universe, is a pretty bold move that's in complete contradiction to Marvel's streamlining of continuity to serve its films. And to be honest, there is no way in hell that this series works with that version of Fury. I can't picture the Sam Jackson version of Fury banging three hookers at a time while lamenting over the failure of the Cold War and deconstructing the myth of the American soldier. Not to say that wouldn't be entertaining, because you know it would be the greatest thing ever put to film.

This issue is nothing but tragedy, as the characters that have been with us since issue one get their storylines wrapped up. Time and tide wait for no man or woman, so the young characters first seen in the 1950's are all gray and aged by the time the final installment roll around. Even Fury himself, with the whole infinity formula cop out not needed, is especially haggard. I think it says something when death from cancer is the gentlest death in this book. These characters who have all in their own way sacrificed so much to do what they thought was that right thing have their lives and perceptions come crashing down, Fury at the forefront of that. Mixed in with our last look at Fury and supporting cast and their relationships is probably one of the most definitive statements on the war in Vietnam I've ever seen.Goran Parlov, who has been doing a tremendous job on all issues, really captures the mood and spirit of Fury's meeting with an old Vietnam War foe and the muted conversation that follows.

And at the end, we're left with one final scene with Fury. No more wars to fight, no friends to suck the life out of, and unable to die no matter how much he drinks, smokes and whores. He's left as a washed up shell of the man who gave his soul to defend America with the knowledge that it was all for nothing. This issue, like the rest, is cynical, bleak and it shows you the reality of a character like Nick Fury. And it's fantastic.

5 out of 5

Review by Matt Johnson