First Appearance: Miss Fury #1 (Winter 1942).
Golden Age Appearances: Miss Fury #1-8.
Modern Appearances: None.
Years Active: 1942-?
Socialite Marla Drake was left a costume (which, Ronald Byrd notes, she doesn't even wear in some stories) by her uncle. The costume was made of actual black leopard skin, and had originally been the ceremonial robe and symbol of justice of a "witch doctor." The robe didn't seem to grant her any extraordinary powers--besides her athleticism and fighting ability she had none--but the strip explicitly states that the robe is "cursed" with "strange powers" and can actually work "miracles." The skin may have been African, but a Brazilian character named "Albino Joe" (he's a Harvard-educated albino Native Brazilian) (no, really!) knows about the leopard skin, so perhaps Miss Fury's costume originally comes from Brazil. Among Miss Fury's enemies were the one-armed German General Bruno Beitz, who commanded a battalion of German troops from inside a hollowed-out mountain in Brazil; the platinum blonde Baroness Elsa von Kampf, an "amoral adventuress;" and Doctor Diman, a good old-fashioned mad scientist.
Note: Miss Fury was original created by Tarpe Mills for an eponymous comic strip. Originally she was dubbed the "Black Fury," changing her name to "Miss Fury" a short time later. The original strip ran from 1941-1952, with the Timely comics being reprints rather than original material. Miss Fury's stories had a certain verve and twisted energy to them (violence, catfights, spiked heels, and lesbian overtones--Miss Fury really was quite something), and I think it would be a shame to let Miss Fury remain forgotten and unknown. Acquiring the rights to the character might be a shade difficult, but I think it would definitely be worth it.
Useful Miss Fury Site
Miss Fury. From Don Markstein's massively useful Toonopedia site.