Fans who just can’t wait to take in all the post-apocalyptic mayhem, muscles and muscle cars of the long-awaited “Mad Max: Fury Road” can get an early fix in Vertigo’s new hardcover book, “Mad Max: Fury Road — Inspired Artists.”
The book collects 65 noted comic book artists and presents their unique visions of the film — the first entry in the George Miller-directed franchise in 30 years.
As you’d expect, the diverse array of artists — including Michael Allred, Jim Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz, Tara McPherson, Paul Pope, Eric Powell, Cliff Chiang, David Mack, Gilbert Hernandez and many more — offer a wide variety of styles, although the subject largely remains the same: Crash. Boom. Bang. Repeat.
As a sneak peek at what readers can expect, the exclusive image at the top of this article is by Eisner nominee Darick Robertson, who co-created “Transmetropolitan” and “The Boys,” and also did memorable work with Marvel’s “Nightcrawler.”
The book includes brief commentary by each artist.
Robertson says of his piece: “George Miller introduced a world where the fragile balance between civilization and anarchy, hope and despair, animalism and humanism, is balanced on the fulcrum of natural resources. From the first ‘Mad Max,’ wherein future society hangs by a thread, where Max represents the last of a legal system that has turned upside down, to a brutal wasteland where survival exists on a day-to-day basis, his character of Max travels through the hero’s journey, never tipping his hand. This world left a deep impact on me; as harbinger of a world to fear and as an artist, seeing a master director at his craft.”
The movie franchise kicked off in 1979 with Mel Gibson starring in “Mad Max,” and was followed by 1981’s “The Road Warrior” (a.k.a. “Mad Max 2”) and 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”
“Fury Road” brings Miller’s patented brand of frenetic energy into the 21st century with Tom Hardy stepping in for Gibson as the titular madman. He’s joined by Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hugh Keays-Byrne and others.
Miller himself provides the book’s intro, comparing his early love of comics to the joy he finds in storyboarding each action scene in his films. It’s a combo that makes perfect sense, and “Inspired Artists” is the ideal prelude to the film’s promise of heart-stopping action.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” crashes into theaters May 15.
— Dave Lewis | @LATHeroComplex