Within hours of Mad Max: Fury Road hitting theaters, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram exploded with fan art featuring the neon wasteland desert and its high octane inhabitants. One character, though, inspired artists like no other --- Imperator Furiosa, the steely warrior of Immortan Joe's army. ComicsAlliance has compiled a collection of our favorites, including a brand-new piece by the talented Greg Ruth, and an exquisite black and white sketch by Jamie McKelvie.

Brought to life by Charlize Theron, Furiosa embodied everything I want in an action heroine. She's compassionate, composed, and absolutely deadly. Driven by her own history as a captive, Furiosa is committed to freeing Joe's unwilling wives, prized 'breeding stock' kept to birth the next generation of war lords. She braves hordes of War Boys, expertly plows her War Rig through a killer storm, reclaims power from the corrupted, and never loses sight of her own humanity.

Looking through these pieces of fan art, it is abundantly clear that a great many fans were as captivated by Furiosa as I was. Furiosa had very little of her backstory spelled out in the film, and looking at these tributes you can see the artists working to unravel the enigma of the character.

Some artists, such as David Pavon and Mike Maihack, looked to put her in a lighter context, opening up an interesting new side of a world that, in the film, was so unrelentingly grim. It's fun to imagine Furiosa relaxing and snacking on ramen, or to re-imagine her story in a more accessible, Disney-fied version.

What is unmissable in all of these pieces is the strength and dignity that Theron brought to the screen, echoed in these beautiful interpretations. It's those qualities, and the mystery surrounding her story, that has gripped audiences everywhere, and is sure to have them praying for another installment of this suddenly essential series.

Perhaps it's the combination of ferocity and vulnerability that makes Furiosa such a compelling subject, or maybe it's the outstanding costume design, or how desperately ready audiences are for quality female leads. Whatever the reason the results are beautiful. Spanning a range of serious portraits to minimalist silhouettes to sassy cartoons, each contribution captures the versatility Theron brings to her performance. One moment she's a regal empress descending from her smoking rig, the next she's a predator smeared in grease. It's no wonder that artists are rushing to create their own interpretations of the character.

So tell us --- how many times have you seen Fury Road? And what are your favorite pieces of fan art?

For more Fury Road art, check out this gallery of images from the official Vertigo art book:


More From ComicsAlliance