The Mad Max Furiosa comic is worse for the women involved than Darth Vader’s Guide To Bring Your Daughter To Work Day.
I’d point out the problems but that’s already been done in great detail. At least now we know how the movie avoided the awful obsession with rape, sexual abuse, and total male domination which usually dominates such stories. It funneled those flaws into the comic, in the same way Twins split Schwarzenegger’s flaws into Danny DeVito. But without the humour. That’s how bad this comic is : a humourless sex-offending Danny DeVito.
It couldn’t have missed the point of Fury Road harder without being misspelling the title. Which would have improved it, because then it could pretend to be the sex-obsessed schlock ripoff it seems to think it already is. It could have spent its forty pages poking at women’s crotches like crosses between unopened Christmas presents and unexploded bombs without damaging the good name of the franchise.
And that good name is Imperator Furiosa.
Anyone who’s watched the movie could write a better story in twenty minutes. And having thought that, I couldn’t resist following through. I gave myself 1200 seconds and a glass of Jura to see what I could come up with. Obviously the result isn’t a real script, because that’s a gigantic amount of work and I’m not being paid for this. It’s just a rough sketch of one of the infinite number of ways the comic could have gone instead of “all women are catty caricatures who get grapes without the g“. I’m doing this so that it gets out of my head, lets me get on with paid work, and lets me pretend this is what was written instead.
But seriously, Imperator Furiosa spending the night before the convoy writing the 16-Point Manual for War Rig Carburettor Maintenance would have been a much better book. And truer to the characters.
FULL PAGE PANEL
The green place. Beautiful and lush, no-one else can be seen, no sign of humanity at all. Absolutely idyllic with an unreal quality, as if it’s heaven, a hope, or the last good memory of a child who grew up in hell. Of course it’s all of those things.
PANELS ON THIS PAGE ARE ALL VERTICAL STRIPS, DECREASING IN HEIGHT, UNTIL ONLY A NARROW BAND AT THE BOTTOM
Now we’re seeing the Green Place for real. It’s still beautiful and green, but realistic. There are women working with machines to till and plant the soil. Visible guard towers with armed women on top. Child Furiosa is walking with Mary Jo Bassa. We see them walking along, cut off by the panel border at Furiosa’s elbow. We never see her left hand one way or the other – we don’t know if it’s already gone or not. They’re talking. One part of conversation:
FURIOSA: Is there anywhere else?
MARY: Nowhere good.
MARY: Salt and death to the east. Worse to the west.
On the horizon, a cloud of dust is rising, the dark shapes outline of vehicles thundering forward bringing a cloud of darkness with them. It’s spreading into the green place. Ink-brush style darkness encroaching on the darkness.
Narrow band of child Furiosa squinting to see better. The borders are drenched in shadow, to echo her oil-slicked forehead in the movie.
FURIOSA: Who are they?
Violent raiding party ripping into the green place.
None of the Warboys’ vehicles are stopping, and they’re taking as many casualties as they inflict. Several outlandish vehicles are destroyed – this is a costly raid.
Warboys reach and scoop up Furiosa and Mary, one pulled to each vehicle, separated.
Close on Furiosa as she’s bundled into the back of the car.
Furiosa looking back on the green place, tears in eyes.
Blurry, smeared final picture of the green place.
In the Wive’s room. Sitting around talking, drinking, close friends.
One part of conversation:
DAG: You did it before. Is it meant to be like that?
CAPABLE >laughs into glass<: Oh gods no. It’s meant to be longer.
The other wives mime horror, tongues out
A huge Warboy, “Chain”, arrives at the vault. Chain is immense, the lead Warboy, with drive chains wrapped around his forearms from elbow to wrist, a huge number of fanbelts around his neck like jewellery. He’s unnaturally strong. Not gym-style muscles, but oversized bulges and veins. Something clearly went wrong with him in the womb, and while the result isn’t quite as polished as a human it’s much stronger. His teeth are misaligned.
He delivers a message: Joe will be there tonight.
He tries to hang around to look at the wives, but Furiosa muscles him out and locks the door behind him. He does not appreciate this.
CHAIN: You won’t keep me out forever.
FURIOSA: I’ll keep you out. And you can bet your ass Joe will keep you out.
CHAIN: You know, Joe’s been Immortan a long time. I fink soon, maybe I’ll be Immortan for a while. Then the other guards will help me. Fink you’ll stop us all?
He leaves, chuckling.
Another flashback. Small raiding party of vehicles roaring away from the Bullet Farm, trail of damage in their wake. These vehicles look slightly more advanced than others we’ve seen: not better technology, but lots of advanced and swiveling gun mounts, and the engine modifications look more streamlined, more mobile than the raw strength and armor of Joe’s, or the spikes of others.
FROM LEAD VEHICLE: AHAHHAHAHA!
Interior, back seat, a young teenage Toast is up to her waist in ammunition of all kinds, wearing clothes made of woven ammo belts.
A chase sequence, but this one is more about the firepower than the race. The raiders battle with the Bullet Farm vehicles. Artist gets to go crazy with post-apocalyptic weapons designs. Raiders in lead vehicle calling out various ammunition types, Toast handing them forward as needed. Lotsa krash-boom-bang, they’re losing vehicles but doing well, but they don’t see the light-signals being sent to the Citadel ahead of them.
Joe’s vehicles hit them like a wall.
In the tumbled wreck Toast’s parents are dead. A Warboy drags her out of the upturned car. Turns to other Warboys
WARBOY: Hey, we got us a girl here!
Exact same panel, but now his head’s gone, Toast has blown it off. She takes out another Warboy, spraying five shots at him and hitting with three (she’s still pretty young), then the others grab her when she’s reloading (but not before she throws the empty gun at one).
Preparations for a gas and bullet convoy. Chain is driving the War Rig. Furiosa is in the adjutant role, in the gun turret on top of the Rig, shouting instructions to the Warboys.
The next flashback
Cheedo’s parents are part of the desperate begging crowd below the Citadel. They walk forward, arguing, convincing themselves that this way she won’t risk starvation. This is the best they can do for her. She looks scared, even under all the bundles of clothing and wrapping. She’ll be found anyway, and it’ll go the worse for them all.
Cheedo sold by poor supplicants, thinking they were doing favor
Passing other groups, looking at their infant with concern
WOMAN: We could wrap him up, make him gloves!
MAN: They count the fingers for Warpups! They’ll notice!
Young Cheedo is given to the Citadel.
As she is raised on the cranked platform, Immortan Joe declares a day of celebration, promising all that she’ll live a life of luxury. Promising all that their whole girl children will live a life of luxury undreamt of.
The water pipes are thrown open, viewed from the perspective of the crowd: an immense, all-dominating waterfall cascading down as if from the skull of a god with the sun flaring around the edge of the citadel.
We see why they use such a massive convoy. The Buzzards spiked vehicles mount a major assault on the Fury Road itself. It’s awesome and extremely expensive for the Buzzards them in terms of material.
The Warboys have the upper hand, but then they see the Buzzard’s big weapon: a spiked bulldozer running on the back of four other cars (one at each corner), an immense wall of spikes coming straight at them.
A merchant convoy travelling through a different region – a ravine, but the palette is more grey than red. They’re foul-mouthed but family. This is where the Dag is happy.
Warboys attack and you can guess what happens next. The merchants fight back, but they’re no match for Warboys and obliterated.
The Warboys carry off all their booty, one nursing a hand with one less finger than it used to have thanks to Dag’s teeth.
The wives chamber. Miss Giddy tells Angharad she’s pregnant. Miss Giddy doesn’t tell anyone else, pretending ignorance, but warns that Organic Mechanic will work it out soon and tell Joe.
ANGHARAD: He’s not getting my baby.
Angharad closes her eyes. Visions, sketchy flashes: a scarred and smiling man, a wizened woman. Hard work scraping lichen from rocks, carrying water, always smiling. A shack burning in the distance as engines roar away.
ANGHARAD: He’s already taken everything else.
They discuss options to escape, but all plans end in failure – everywhere is too close to the Bullet Farm, or too dead to support them.
FURIOSA: I know a place.
A pilgrims camp by the roadside. They’re tending the sick and wounded, as much by talking and making them comfortable as anything, they’re clearly lacking supplies. A mixed group. Among others Capable is tending a sick child at a small roadside shanty. The next are all scene over her shoulder as she works.
A warboy convoy roars past. Warboys shout and point. It swerves into the camp. Pilgrims hold their hands up, trying to talk, and are cut down.
Our last panel of this scene is whooping warboys descending on the group, but before contact. We don’t need to see the rest.
The convoy is battling the immense Buzzard Monster-Bulldozer. Many vehicles are lost on the oversized dozer blades.
Roaring nitro from its wheel-cars, the blade catches the rear of the War Rig, crushing an older, boxier cubical shaped fuel pod in an immense explosion. The dozer carries on through the explosion, but now there’s a small hole in the blade. Spikes dig into the rear of the War Rig.
More Buzzard vehciles with longer spikes on the side spear into the side of the pinned War Rig. Buzzards emerge (samurai style armor inspiration, covered in more spikes). They run across the long pinning spikes. Warboys drawn off to fight them.
Chain charges back, grabbing expolsive lances from Warboys on the way down. He shoves Furiosa out of the way in the rear gunner pod. He throws a lance and misses the hole. And another is deflected, caught on the spikes around it, detonating harmlessly.
He leans forward, off the back of War Rig gunner pod, for a better shot. He hurls two lances through the hole.
The Dozer cab explodes, the Dozer starts to swerve and go over over its own front wheels in a huge explosion.
During the explosion Chain (still hanging out of position) and Furiosa’s eye’s meet. He’s grinning with triumph. She’s holding a lance. Under the cover of the Dozer detonation, she jams the lance into the armored wall he’s clinging too. It and he are blasted backwards, part of the explosion.
Warboys, all deeply engaged in fighting Buzzards, but now with the advantage, turn and see Chain apparently taking out the entire Buzzard Dozer.
WARBOYS, EN MASSE: WITNESS!
Immortan Joe tells Furiosa that with the death of Chain, she is to drive the War Rig and lead the next convoy. She raises fist, playing the part.
Back in the Wive’s Chamber, she tells them. “Tonight”.
The women prepare to leave, painting their messages in the room.
Miss Giddy refuses to come. There’s an argument.
MISS GIDDY: I won’t survive the trip. I don’t want to die on the Fury Road. I want to see the look on the bastard’s face — HEFTS GUN — just before I blow it off.
Reverse angle as we see the Wives leaving through the vault door. You can still see “Our children will not be warlords” on the ground, but on the inside wall beside the door you can now see “YOU TINY SCHLANGER!”
There has to be an immense loading chamber for the War Rig to be prepared. This is our chance to see that. Real beautiful super-detailed ode to the machine and the maintenance of it.
In one of the side chambers of this large one, we can see the Interceptor, perfectly restored and gorgeous.
On the way there we saw a glimpse into a spherical chamber entirely lined with speakers and boomboxes, with the Doof Warrior sleeping in a bungee harness.
Furiosa berates Warboys for improper maintenance of parts of rear suspension, puts the fear of Imperator into them to go get the good bits. While distracted, the Wives are sneaking into the Rig.
Full page pic.
The next day.
The War Rig is being lowered from the Citadel. Immense, intimidating, dominating the sky when seen from just below.
Furiosa behind the wheel.
All remaining pages
Every artist in your publishing house gets to share their Imperator Furiosa, because I guarantee every single on of them has drawn an Imperator Furiosa and now they’ll get to claim it as the work they were meant to be doing.
(Okay, that took over an hour. It was way too much fun. And several times I had to prevent myself from trying to write a full comics script).
Achieve your Mad Maximum with The Mad Max Guide to Self-Improvement
Or witness some truly immortal father figures with The Most Awesome Fathers in Action Film History