Female Furies #6 // Review
It’s a mutiny in Apokolips in Female Furies #6, by writer Cecil Castellucci, artist Adriana Melo, colors by Hi-Fi, and letterer Sal Cipriano. Up to this point, this has been a stellar mini-series, but this issue is a strange ending to the whole thing. It sets up things for a sequel, but it feels odd, to say the least.
Barda and the Furies talk to a gathering of women, urging them to rebel. The women reject the Furies’ idea, telling them that they are privileged, so it’s easy to talk of rebellion. Granny Goodness finds out she’s not taking Willik’s place and learns that the Furies are running amok. The Furies come up with a new plan- try to enlist Beautiful Dreamer and her abilities to share their dream with the women of Apokolips. They go to the Hall of the Old Gods and use its power to link their dreams to Beautiful Dreamer. She tells them that she can do what they ask, but change can only happen in the real world. When the Furies get back to their barracks they find their things being destroyed by a new batch of Female Furies. Granny sicks her new Furies on them and they fight it out. When curfew drones interrupt the fight, Granny commands the new Furies to keep fighting, but they balk at her orders because Darkseid comes first. Granny decides to destroy all of the Furies and start over again, but the older team saves the younger team from Granny’s attempt and she escapes. The two groups join forces and begin to foment rebellion again, this time successfully. The Furies bomb Darkseid's palace, which starts a chain reaction that causes the planet to break up. However, Desaad once told Lashina about a network of satellites that can hold things together and the Furies activate them. The men of Apokolips evacuate, leaving the women behind. The Furies stand triumphant and Barda goes back to Earth to be with Scott Free.
The opening scene with the women of Apokolips rejecting the Furies’ ideas is one of the strongest parts of the whole issue. It mirrors the struggle of feminism in the real world- that the women with privilege might think their ideas will just work and be accepted, but for the poor and downtrodden women, it’s a different story. They’re the ones who will suffer the most in any revolution. It’s one of the bigger struggles that has affected feminism over the years- the fundamental divide between the people with the ideas and the general public. After a while, even oppression can seem comfortable. Castellucci gets this idea across perfectly in this short sequence.
Unfortunately, the rest of the issue is kind of a mess. The reason the new Furies turn on Granny is very flimsy. The interlude with Beautiful Dreamer makes a good point, but it also feels like it’s in the issue to pad the page count. Another strange thing is the way the women refuse to rebel at the beginning of the issue and then agree to it later. Nothing has changed. The plan is the same and at this point, Darkseid and his inner circle know about the Furies’ attempts and have instituted a curfew. There’s much more to lose at this point. Castellucci never really explains the change, it just happens. The ending, with the men evacuating Apokolips and leaving the women behind, sets things up for a sequel, but it’s a retcon that seems a little much. It is an event that definitely would have been brought up at some other point.
Adriana Melo’s art is mostly great, but there are a few parts where the detail suffers, something that really hasn’t happened in previous issues. The backgrounds of the Beautiful Dreamer scene are a highlight of the issue. Beyond that, her figure work and character acting are top notch. The art is the best part of the book and elevates even the weak parts of the script.
Female Furies #6 is a bit of a disappointment, especially after how good the preceding issues have been. Castellucci didn’t drop the ball, per se, but it feels like she had an ending in mind and was going there no matter what. There’s a lot of narrative convenience in this issue and it’s a shame because Castellucci is a better writer than this. Adriana Melo’s art is the saving grace of the issue. There are a few places where her detail isn’t up to the levels it was in previous issues, but it’s still great for the most part. It saves the issue. The ending of this mini-series doesn’t match the quality of the rest of it, but it’s still worth a read.