Published on May 21st, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Mad Max: Fury Road #1 Review
Nux and Immortan Joe
At the beginning of the week I reviewed the outstanding new Mad Max movie and then on Wednesday DC Vertigo released the first of their prequel comics tying in directly with the movie. It seems a little bit rude not to take a look at it.
The comic takes the form of a make shift history lesson with a character coated in writing retelling the legends of the wasteland. This week’s lesson concerns the childhood of Nux and the rise to power of Immortan Joe.
Nux the Resilient*
The narrator tells us that life is hard and that people are harder. Everyone looks after themselves and survival is all that anyone thinks about. Apart from one family that is, one small group that are fuelled by love. The mother and father do everything to keep their children safe and it’s into this family that Nux is born. Unfortunately this is the harsh world that the narrator keeps going on about so it’s not long before the young Nux is left alone, desperately searching for his father at the foot of the citadel. It’s his desperate desire to find his father that makes him hold on to the citadel lift with such resilience as it slowly ascends into the den of the War Boys above. He is watched with awe by all of those above as he keeps a firm hold right to the very top where an act of mercy rescues him from certain death.
The story is a nice, inoffensive little tale but there is a serious problem with the depiction of Nux. His age is inconsistent, even in the few pages of this story. One minute he appears to be a young boy of 5 or 6 then he regresses to being a toddler of no more than two. His face, body and stance don’t seem to be able to make up their mind and this makes enjoyment of the story difficult. This is a shame because the character as played by Nicholas Hoult is one of the highlights of the movie and a well told origin story would have been a nice compliment to Hoult’s performance.
Next up is the villain of the piece, the mighty Joe himself. In all fairness this isn’t a story about the character Joe but the rise of the citadel and its legendary ruler. You don’t really get an insight into Joe’s character or why he does the things he does; he just does them.
The story starts at the fall of civilisation and follows the ex military man as he leads a gang of bikers in chaotic raids across the wasteland until he learns of the citadel. When he sees it he instantly knows that this is where he will rule and through a mostly off page invasion, Joe takes control of the rock and its water.
Despite the lack of actual character in the second half of this comic, the history of George Miller’s world is laid out fairly well. Unfortunately it reads like background notes to the movie; interesting for setting and style but not entertaining as an actual story. The entire thing has been written by Miller and you can see that he has thought his world out well. Elements of the original films and the subsequent sequels are present as he ties in all of the mythology surrounding the 36 years since the first film was released.
I like the idea of the History Man and think that it is a good way to relay the histories of the characters from the latest film. However the stories he is telling are pretty weak and it’s difficult to believe that in a world where only a few histories still exist, these are the stories that would be passed on. Add to that the lack of character development, again which the film did so well, and you end up with something lacking any substance. Even the artwork has trouble capturing the epic landscape of the futuristic world.
After a surprisingly clever and well thought out movie, this prequel comic is a disappointment on most levels. One for a diehard fan maybe but I would not use this as a way to convince someone to see the film.
Title: Mad Max: Fury Road: Nux & Immortan Joe
Publisher: DC Vertigo
Writers: George Miller, Nico Lathouris, Mark Sexton
Artists: Mark Sexton, Leandro Fernandez, Riccardo Burcielli, Andrea Mutti
*my name for him after reading this short story