Female Furies #3 – Cecil Castellucci, Writer; Adriana Melo, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 2/10
Corrina: Bleaker and Bleaker (And Still Needs a Content Warning For Rape & Domestic Violence)
Ray: As this bizarre, disturbing miniseries reaches its halfway point, it finally establishes its main character and a strange and upsetting theme emerges – this is essentially a textbook fridging story, only the person the fridging is intended to motivate is another woman. I don’t think that makes it any better, as Female Furies #3 once again takes us from a brief moment of hope to a never-ending wallow in horror.
Granny Goodness has now kidnapped Beautiful Dreamer of New Genesis and is torturing her, trying to force her to use her dream powers to brainwash the members of the Female Furies to make them better at their jobs. This gives us brief glimpses of their desires, which often feel like cliches or parodies. Barda wants to be happily married to Scott with a baby, Mad Harriet wants to be a renowned scientist, etc. Of course, the one Granny cares most about brainwashing is Aurelie, who resists the programming and communicates with Beautiful Dreamer inside the dream.
That kicks off the most promising segment of the issue, as Aurelie and Beautiful Dreamer try to make their escape from Apokalips, seeking out the benevolent Himon and his refuge. Scott Free, who has been working for Himon, tries to help them escape but the entire Female Furies track them down. Granny Goodness confers with Darkseid, and their bizarre pseudosexual relationship continues to be another false note in this series. But it doesn’t completely lose me until the last act, when Aurelie is turned back over to Willik by her “sisters” for the third time – and this time she’s essentially tortured to death in a sadistic ritual seemingly inspired by Grimm fairy tales. It was pretty clear that Aurelie was not going to have a happy ending simply because she’s a canon foreigner, but her fate this issue directly implicates her fellow Furies – including Big Barda, who starts to have doubts by the end of the issue. But this story doesn’t make me root for her – it makes her look like as much of a monster as the rest.
Corrina: I thought, for a brief moment, that Aurelie might make her escape and somehow become a powerful new character in the DC Universe. Um, no.
That was only a brief moment and more my hope than any expectation. And, sure enough, my prediction from last month came true and Aurelia is brutally murdered and her story is done without any resolution.
Not only murdered but it’s an extended, on-page, sadistic murder. And thus ends her story, to motivate…Barda?
No, a fridging is not any better at all if it’s done is to motivate another woman. Especially since Aurelie had no shot at recovering or dealing with her trauma. She’s just a horrible example for Barda, who has had zero personality for the past three issues, so it’s not even that I can like the pivot to another person.
There are stories that involve rape survivors and survivors of brainwashing and abuse that can be healing and empowering. They may detail the rape and abuse but, ultimately, they are a story of survival.
This is the opposite of one of those stories.
Even beyond that, the entire issue is predictable and relies on an overused trope that should be used sparingly, if at all. And, yes, I know the actions depicted in the issue are shown to be horrible, but with little or no consequences for those horrible actions, it still reads as if it wallows in the rape and abuse, rather than condemning it.
I have to wonder what the entire creative team was thinking with all this.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.