Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944


“Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays 1941-1944” is a collection of American comic strips starring the iconic character Miss Fury, created by Tarpe Mills. These comics, give readers a captivating glimpse into the Golden Age of American comics and the world of pulp fiction.


Miss Fury was first printed months before Wonder Woman in 1941, two years after Batman and three years after Superman. She was the first female crime fighter keeping humankind safe, created, and drawn by a woman cartoonist. Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays 1941-1944 compiles every Miss Fury Sunday strip from the beginning in April 1941 through April 1944, we learn the origins of Miss Fury and her skin-tight panther costume-complete with its sharp claws on her hands and feet!



When I started looking into more pulp heroes, I stumbled upon Miss Fury, and I hit the jackpot when I found out about the campaign for “Miss Fury: Joy Division”. I was shocked to discover that she was the first superheroine created after Batman and Superman. Describing Miss Fury in today’s world would be like talking about the original Cat Woman, a character that’s been taken over by DC Comics. Perhaps that’s why Miss Fury has been somewhat hidden from the spotlight.

I asked my family and friends about her, and to my surprise, none of them knew who she was, which seemed odd considering how popular she was back in the day according to my research. Some even thought she was a copy of Cat Woman, when in fact, it’s the other way around. In the graphic novel “Miss Fury: Joy Division”, Billy Tucci tells her story, picking up from the original golden age continuity with the same characters. I was afraid wouldn’t be able to follow the story and the references to the old comics but that didn’t happen.

I enjoyed the story without reading The Miss Fury Sensational Sundays Archive Collections but I still wanted to check them out. Discovering “Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays 1941-1944″ is the first step towards learning more about the origins of Miss Fury, so let’s get into it.

Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944



Miss Fury was created by Tarpe Mills, a trailblazer, likely the first woman to work on a superhero strip, and the first to create one. She shattered gender barriers by bringing Miss Fury into the comic book world. Despite working on early comic book series like Ivy Menace, Drama of Hollywood, The Purple Zombie, and Daredevil Barry Finn. From the beginning, Mills signed her comics with her sexually ambiguous middle name because as she said in a newspaper interview, “It would have been a major letdown to the kids if they found out that the author of such virile and awesome characters was a gal.”

Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944


Miss Fury became so popular that her image was painted on World War II planes. In 1947, when Marla was shown wearing a bikini, 37 newspapers dropped the feature in protest. Mills proved that a female-led comic strip could be feminine, fashionable, embrace motherhood, and still kick butt—a notion not always appreciated in the media. The stories range from downright kinky to all-out action against Nazis, spies, cutthroats, and thieves. The strip ran from 1941 until 1952.



Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays 1941-1944 is the first volume of The Miss Fury Sensational Sundays Archive Collections. The book was edited by Trina Robbins and designed by Lorraine Turner. Also on the team were Dean Mullaney as the creative director, Bruce Canwell as the associate editor, Loraine Turner as art director, and Beau Smith as director of marketing with special thanks to Donald Goldsamt, Bill Finn, Jae Meaeter, Bill Blackbeard, Robert Wiener, Cliff Erickson, Adriano Oprandi, George Hagenauer, Justin Eisinger and Alonzo Simon.

Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944



Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays 1941-1944 contains 164 pages and is ‎ 24.38 x 2.79 x 30.48 cm, a pretty large black hardcover book with dust jacket cover. The first edition was published in 2013 by the Library of American Comics and IDW Publishing, a division of Idea and Dragon Works, LLC. The production value is excellent with very nice colored printing and a ribbon to keep track of where we’re at.

Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944



Miss Fury premiered in 1941 as Black Fury, the title change is the subject of a clever plot involving an unexpected döppelganger. One standout feature of “Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays” is its groundbreaking portrayal of a strong and independent female protagonist. Marla Drake, also known as Miss Fury, breaks traditional gender roles by being a courageous crimefighter who takes matters into her own hands.

By day, she was socialite Marla Drake, by night, the costumed adventuress Miss Fury. These early exploits in Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays 1941-1944 introduce me to all of the memorable characters from the strip: the one-armed General Bruno, the Baroness Erica Von Kampf (with a swastika branded on her forehead), Albino Jo, and the all-American Gary Hale and Detective Carey, who each vies for Marla’s affections.

Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944


Despite her wealth, Marla shoulders the daunting task of being a vigilante, showcasing her complexity as a character. The adoption storyline highlights her willingness to take on the responsibility of single motherhood, a rarity at the time but a reality for many women after the war.

Mills built the character by referencing and utilizing her competencies. Maria is smart and courageous, with a strong sense of fairness and drive to take action. She is not a highly trained tactician nor a femme fatale. She can handle difficult situations but she doesn’t always get her way. However, the experience helped her grow and become better than she was before.

Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944



Tarpe Mills’ artwork in the comic strips is stunning, showcasing her talent as both a writer and an artist. Her dynamic illustrations capture the action and drama of each story arc with precision, while the attention to detail in character design and background settings immerses readers in the world of 1940s New York City.

Mills isn’t afraid to experiment with her storytelling, deviating from her usual panel grid format for special occasions, like Hitler’s birthday, when she depicts the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in a giant panel. The lettering is also interesting to see.

While there is too much text sometimes, it seems as if the illustrations were drawn after determining where the text will be placed which is different from placing the text over the art after it’s completed. Each panel pulsates with energy, capturing the essence of a bygone era while simultaneously retaining its timeless appeal.

Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944



“Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays” delivers a mix of thrilling action, suspenseful mystery, and compelling drama. The episodic nature of the comic strips keeps readers engaged from week to week, while the inclusion of strong supporting characters and intricate plotlines adds richness and complexity to the storytelling.

Diving into action from the very first Black Fury Sunday strip dated April 6, 1941, we meet characters like Francine, Cappy, Detective Carey, Baroness Erica von Kampf, Bruno, Wolfram Prussia, Gary Hale, and Peri Purr. However, it is not until September 21, 1941, that we finally learn Marla’s last name is ‘Drake’. And by December 14, 1941, her name changes from Black Fury to Miss Fury.

Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944


There is so much happening that I can barely keep up. In the first strip, Marla is already down to her lingerie changing into what will be her heroine outfit. In the second strip, she mistakenly attacks Carey, knocking him out. On the third Sunday, she captures ‘Killer’ Dawson and ties him up, along with an unconscious Carey. In the fourth, she sees the fruits of her actions.

The excitement only escalates from there, especially with the introduction of Bruno. He starts off as almost a cartoonish villain, hitting a woman in his first appearance and later attempting to blow up Peri Purr. Bruno’s character evolves significantly during Marla’s time in Brazil, transforming from a standard Nazi villain into a more complex figure with patriotic ideals. Bruno reveals himself to be similar to Stauffenberg, a German officer who would later try to assassinate Hitler.

Miss Fury's Sensational Sundays 1941-1944


They both hail from Bavaria, have aristocratic backgrounds and share patriotic sentiments. Bruno’s passionate speech about German industry and labor highlights his conflicted loyalty to his country. Colonel Prussia and Baroness Erica von Kampf try to make a trap for Bruno, the volume ends on a somber note, an illustration of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, leaving readers to ponder if it’s a warning to Germany.



“Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays 1941-1944” is a must-read for fans of classic comics and pulp fiction. It offers a journey back to the Golden Age of American comics and celebrates the enduring legacy of one of the first female superheroes in American comic book history. Through its pages, enthusiasts are transported back to an era brimming with creativity and innovation, where heroes and heroines leaped off the paper with boundless energy and charisma. Regarding the reading experience, the size of the book, which is quite large can be a bit uncomfertable at times, depending on where you choose to read the book.

At the heart of this collection lies the indomitable Miss Fury, one of the earliest female superheroes to grace the panels of American comic book history. Miss Fury shattered conventions with her daring escapades and formidable presence, challenging gender norms and paving the way for future generations of female protagonists. The compilation showcases Mills’ visionary storytelling prowess and her ability to craft narratives that resonate with readers across generations, cementing her legacy as a trailblazer in the comic book industry. With its engaging storytelling, dynamic artwork, and groundbreaking protagonist, this collection stands as a testament to Tarpe Mills’ pioneering contributions to the American comic book industry.

Through Miss Fury’s adventures, readers are treated to a glimpse of a world where bravery knows no bounds and justice prevails against all odds. This collection not only honors the pioneering spirit of Tarpe Mills but also serves as a testament to the enduring power of comics as a medium for storytelling and self-expression. Whether delving into the pages for the first time or revisiting cherished memories, fans of classic comics and pulp fiction will find themselves enthralled by the unforgettable journey offered by “Miss Fury’s Sensational Sundays 1941-1944.”

Let’s keep #FURYSTRONG

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