Female Furies #2 – Cecil Castellucci, Writer; Adriana Melo, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 2/10
Corrina: Not Just Bad, Potentially Traumatizing to Rape Survivors
Ray: The second issue of Female Furies takes all the problems of the first issue and doubles down on them, removing the few elements of hope that made me think the series could improve. When we last left off, Aurelie and Big Barda had killed a particularly disgusting male soldier who made his intentions to sexually assault a child clear. While this made me hope these two would be taking the helm of the series as heroes, the opening of this issue makes clear that Aurelie’s role is to be a victim and Barda is still drinking the Apokalips Kool-Aid as much as the men. She berates Aurelie for acting “erratically” and being weak. When Aurelie tells her about Wondrous Willik raping her, Barda calls her a liar and leaves her alone with the pervert. This is a one-note comic that wants us to be witness to Aurelie’s torment as she’s abused by those in power and rejected by those who could help her.
It’s also far more graphic than I’d expect a main-line DC book to be, with a sillhouetted depiction of forced oral sex among other disturbing scenes. When Aurelie becomes pregnant because of the repeated rapes, Granny Goodness forces her into an abortion while berating her. When she tells her fellow Furies about the abuse, they all gather around and scream insults at her. When she fights back briefly, she’s branded as crazy. This is all abuse women face in real life, of course, but to combine it all into one character’s endless trials feels less like a realistic depiction and more like an exaggerated passion play. Given Aurelie’s absence from most Female Furies stories, it seems highly unlikely that her story will have anything resembling a happy ending. Last issue seemed to want to make us sympathize with Granny Goodness as she fought against the system, but this issue makes her look just as monstrous as the men in charge. It’s just a confused, cruel comic with nothing to recommend.
Corrina: Sexual power politics on Apokalips would not have been my choice for a Female Furies book but there’s potential there.
But that potential is completely unrealized.
Instead, this is one long issue of a woman being assaulted and raped, with no empathy from those around her. Indeed, they call her weak.
I know this is supposed to put me on her side and, of course, the villains are shown as terrible people.
But, instead, the issue wallows so much in the sexual assault and Aurelia’s isolation that it may actually be traumatizing for rape survivors to read. This issue doesn’t trigger empathy. It triggers revulsion, in as “I never want to read another issue of this again.”
I don’t know what this creative team had in mind but it’s gone seriously awry.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.