Mad Max: Fury Road doesn’t waste much time with exposition, leaving you to create your own backstory for the crazy world we glimpsed in that movie (although we did try to make sense of some of it here).
If you’d prefer more concrete answers though, or you’re just looking to explore that universe a bit more before the eventual sequel, there’s a new Vertigo comic series that begins today that should help.
What is it about?
Some story details follow, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, just know that the comic is a pretty interesting addition to the world of Mad Max, and worth checking out if you’re interesting in exploring it further.
The first issue features two stories, both set decades before the events of the movie. Both are narrated by a “History Man,” apparently a living surrogate for a lack of books and recording devices. Tattooed on his entire body are stories, or “Word Burgers” (the synopsis for Fury Road mentions it’s “based on the Word Burgers of the History Men,” George Miller is very fond of silly words).
The first focuses on Nux, revealing how he became a War Boy, and the strange sort of familial camaraderie that binds that group together. It’s short and sweet, and lends a bit of insight into what life is like for those living on the ground floor of Immortan Joe’s empire.
The second half of the issue is likewise a prequel, this time charting the rise to power of Immortan Joe himself. According to this story, the Immortan’s real name is Colonel Joe Moore (hence those medals), a veteran of the Oil Wars, and later, what’s referred to as the Water Wars. It touches on how he gathered his initial forces, before focusing on his conquest of the Citadel. In between, we get a bit of insight into some of the more vague terminology used in the movie (the Bullet Farm is a lead mine for example), as well as an expanded explanation on why his Wives are so important to him.
Issue two is apparently entirely about Furiosa, which sounds pretty excellent. Fingers crossed that exploring her backstory doesn’t take away from the character’s mystique in the film.