Once again Castellucci and Melo hit in out of the park with Female Furies 4.
Up to this point, Castellucci has had a freer hand in developing the world these women inhabit, viewed as lesser by the male powers that rule Apokolips. She has made the most out of what little Kirby, and others, had established about them.
With this issue, the story more clearly centres on Big Barda, and so it draws more closely to Kirby’s Young Scott Free tales from the original Mister Miracle run.
But that does not mean we are simply reading a recap of things that have been shown before. Quite the contrary, we are treated to the first meeting of Barda and Scott, and some of the horrific “games” they were forced to play in Granny Goodness’ orphanage.
It isn’t too surprising to see that the relationship that grew between Scott and Barda was known of by Darkseid and Granny. It was fully within their schemes to see it blossom, and use it to manipulate both of them.
On top of that, Barda gets some good scenes with the other Furies. Particularly when they start coming down on Auralie, and Barda has to remind them of the way they are being turned against each other, in order to keep the men safely in the positions of power. It’s an important and resonant message, and it fits very neatly into the story, not like something awkwardly tacked on.
I am really curious to see if the question of Barda’s parentage is more fully developed. Here, we find out a little about her mother, but nothing about her father. Back around 1990, in the Mister Miracle series at that time, Barda was said to be Darkseid’s daughter. I always thought that made a lot of sense, but so far as I know, it has not been mentioned since. Maybe Castellucci is going to bring that back?
Whether she does or not, this remains an excellent companion piece to Tom King’s Mister Miracle miniseries, and a book that is eminently readable on it’s own merits.