Saturday, December 8, 2012

MISS FURY "Origin"

She wasn't the first superheroine, but she was the first to be created by a woman!
Conceived, written, and illustrated by cartoonist Tarpe Mills (who dropped her first name "June" from her published credit), Miss Fury started life in 1941 as a newspaper comic strip.
Police and reporters initially referred to her as "Black Fury", but she called herself "Miss Fury" in notes attached to crooks she caught. (The name "CatWoman" was already in use!)
This particular version of the tale, which appeared in Timely's Miss Fury #1 (1942) was made up of those early newspaper strips pasted-up into comic book format, though the art for our story was taken from a 1970s reprint trade paperback which printed the story in b/w, rather than the comic's color.

Sadly, unlike most other adventure strips, there were no other spin-offs like movie serials, radio shows, or even a Big Little Book or two!
The newspaper strip ended in 1952, but Tarpe Mills continued to work as a comic illustrator for various publishers, including Marvel Comics!
Her last published work was a new cover for a graphic novel reprint of Miss Fury in 1979. She passed away in 1988.

Two items of note:
1) The panther hide didn't give her any super-powers, as such items tend to do in comics!
Marla was a gifted athlete, and, that combined with the visual shock value of the costume, enabled her to defeat foes. (ask another wealthy socialite, Bruce Wayne, about his similar, equally effective, strategy!)
2) Unlike most Golden Age heroines (Wonder Woman, Black Cat, Phantom Lady, et al), who seemed to wear skimpy swimsuits to battle evil, Miss Fury's costume totally covered her (but extremely tightly)!

This entry is part of our Retroblogs™ Masks Marathon, celebrating the new Dynamite comic series Masks which combines, for the first time, the major masked mystery men of pulps and comics including The Green Hornet, The Shadow, The Spider, Zorro, The Black Terror, The Green Lama, and Miss Fury (ok, a masked mystery woman), among others.
We'll be presenting more stories featuring these characters throughout the month of December.


  1. Thanks for the information and origin of Miss Fury! Are the pages from the Pure Imagination book?