Fury My War Gone By: Comic Review (Mania.com)

By:Kimberly McCall
Review Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Source: Mania.com

“My name is Nick Fury. I've had a bullet in my head since Nineteen Forty -Four. I can't seem to die, don't even age much. I fight and fuck like a goddamn demon. I lick up war like it was sugar. These are the things I've done for my country.”

Before the smooth, sleek C.I.A  gone S.H.I.E.L.D agent of the more recent Marvel Universe, there was this guy.  This is not the Nick Fury action figure you see children in Iron Man masks playing with at Christmas. This is what happens if you take James Bond and have him do 20 years in LA County Prison. This is a character who was stripped of comic superhero cartoon comedy and scratched in grime onto paper. The result is Fury #1 “My War Gone By,” a raw and gritty memoir of the man himself penned by the one and only Garth Ennis (Preacher; The Boys).
Against a very bleak backdrop of bland color, we are introduced to a drunk and jaded ex-World War ll hero who is his country's answer to assistance needed in French Indochina during the blooming Communist era in 1954. (It is not until later that we learn his real reason for being sent there).  Utterly disinterested in two-faced politics or local affairs, Fury drinks away the hours in what can only be described as the calm before the Vietnam storm.
During this calm, Ennis introduces readers to a few vital characters who foreshadow greater impact to come.  Character number one: the young, dreamy-eyed Hatherly who came to Indochina with old star spangled pride and ideals. He immediately becomes the day to his new partner, Fury's night and is not about to be brought down by cynicism. Character number two is the feisty (and yes, smoking hot) secretary to the congressman, Shirley Defabio whom we abruptly meet during a bar fight as she is driving a broken bottle into some horny hotshot's face. Her boss, Congressman McCuskey, makes his entrance at the American Embassy for a dinner party in his own honor. It is there that he sends Fury into the jungle with French Major Lallement to help escort a supply convoy to a remote fort in the heart of guerilla territory.
And, thus, this first memoir is brought to a close with Fury and a bunch of inept local troops in a sitting duck of a fort awaiting the action of the next issue. Oh, and did I forget to mention the ex-Nazi Legionnare, Sergent Chef Steinhoff in charge of maintaining order among the soldiers?
Sounds like a lot of character development, right? It is. MAX Fury “My War Gone By” contains about as much action as the average after school cartoon with worse language. However, issue #1 does compliment one of Garth Ennis' main strengths: his ability to stir up readers' minds before dropping the bomb. He is merely bringing us back to the original Nick Fury that most readers have come to forget about while silently prepping us for one hell of a ride. 

Goran Parlov's art is minimalistic. In its welcome simplicity, it reminds us that we are dealing with complex, flawed humans, here, not over-glorified superheros. The scenes are dimly lit, the details are few, and it is almost as though we are seeing Indochina through the grim, corrupt eyes (or eye) of Fury, himself.

Ennis can write war. There's no doubt of that. He places the fantasy characters he loves so much in real life conflicts with a grace and knowledge that will appeal to the most devout history buffs and comic book geeks alike. I believe that if given a chance, Fury will deliver.

Mania Grade: A-
Written By: Garth Ennis
Art and Letters By: Goran Parlov and Rob Steen
Colors By: Lee Loughridge
Published By: Marvel Worldwide Inc.
Price: $3.99 US