Granny Goodness has kidnapped the Forever People's Beautiful Dreamer in a lurid attempt to use her dream-weaving abilities to "fix" Aurelie. It doesn't take long, though, for Dreamer's powers to extend to the entire brigade of Furies.
But in that dreamscape, Beautiful dreamer beguiles Aurelie with a vision of what her life could be, free of the Furies, Apokolips, and especially Willik's recurring sexual assault.
But the intensity of Dreamer's vision of a better life awakens Aurelie from its hold. Unable to rouse her fellow Furies, she confronts Granny directly...
Beautiful Dreamer ensnares Granny in a stronger vision, and Aurelie helps her escape. Dreamer convinces Aurelie that she could have a better life, and together they escape to New Genesis.
Afterward, Darkseid summons Granny. He is aware Beautiful Dreamer was loose and causing chaos on Apokolips, but blind to the fact that Granny was the one who brought her there. He believes the Forever People's leader, Himon, was responsible for the "attack." Taking advantage of his ignorance, Granny concocts a situation that allows her to lead the Furies to New Genesis, ostensibly as retribution but in reality to retrieve Aurelie. Aurelie, though, won't go peacefully!
But ultimately, the Furies recapture Aurelie, and return her to Apokolips for "rehabilitation." Unfortunately... that rehabilitation is at the hands of Willik, who promised payback after his humiliation at her hands last issue...
For a book that got off to such a clumsy start, Female Furies has done wonders to turn itself around and become a dark and twisted, must-read book about a society completely consumed by sexism, toxic masculinity, and the entitlement of an elite few. Aurelie’s struggle to break free of that cycle, which has included being told by her superior officer to shut up and take the abuse and being called a liar by her peers for daring to speak of it at all. And although it doesn’t wield its politics lightly, it serves as an ugly mirror held up to our own society’s worst instincts.
Cecil Castellucci’s use of Beautiful Dreamer as the catalyst for Aurelie finally deciding it’s time to break free of Apokolips may be a more than a little on-the-nose in terms of metaphoric imagery, but it works. It also highlights just how thoroughly brainwashed Apokolips’ women are; even when confronted with the irrefutable truth that she not only could have a better life but deserves one, she has a hard time accepting the cognitive dissonance between that and what she’s been told her whole life about her New Genesis “enemies.” I’d argue that it would work better if so much of this issue’s dialogue weren’t so stilted, but that’s a fairly minor argument.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that Aurelie ultimately winds up back on Apokolips after her escape, but what comes after genuinely is, a Game of Thrones-worthy twist that completely changes the makeup of the story. Bravo to Castellucci for having the guts to pull it off.
Adriana Melo’s art is a bit too threadbare in places for my taste, though. Too many panels without backgrounds, with otherwise well-rendered characters standing in limbo. It’s good art otherwise, though, with shades of Steve Pugh throughout. The issue’s climactic scenes between Aurelie and Willik are particularly devastating.
Female Furies' trajectory completely switches by this issue's end. It's brutal and heartbreaking all at the same time, a damning indictment of a society of entitlement. Though heavy-handed in its approach, this book's blunt-force impact is hard to deny. Toxic nerds beware.
Female Furies #3 (of 6): The Cost of Defiance
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 7.5/107.5/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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