Fantastic Fun with The Fox #1April 26, 2015
I confess, I know absolutely nothing about the character, but the creative team of Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, The Quitter) and Mark Waid (Daredevil, Kingdom Come) and that gorgeous front cover were enough to convince me that I really needed to give this one a try.
And I’m delighted I did, because The Fox #1 released by Dark Circle Comics is 35 pages of absolute joy. Seriously, this is the sort of comic that you just read from cover to cover with a big grin on your face.
The story introduces us to photojournalist Paul Patton Jr, who is finding it difficult to kick the habit of fighting crime as superhero The Fox. Tasked with covering the story of the small town where he grew up being demolished, Patton Jr instead finds himself walking down memory lane. As walks go, it’s a bit more violent than he expects, leaving him with bruises and a bounty on his head.
The Fox is a comic with the pressures of parenthood right at its core. Patton Jr. took up the role of the Fox from his father, but wants to be rid of it to live a normal life with his wife and kids. Meanwhile, his son Shinji is not only aware of his father’s superhero activities, but evidently fancies himself taking up the mantle.
There’s also lots in there about nostalgia, the rose-tinted way we look at things that happened in our past and attach meaning to them. The comic does it all with a big grin and a sparkle in its eye. The art is terrific, and the bright, vibrant colours by Allen Passalaqua made me feel like I was reading a Waid Daredevil comic, which is about the highest praise I can possibly give it.
The writing is just glorious too. Who doesn’t love a bad guy called Mister Smile, whose Smilephone makes a giggling sound every time you snap a photo? The appearance of The Fox’s classic enemy The Gasser is also brilliantly entertaining. The gags pretty much all hit, and its left me very keen to see what happens next. If you want a comic that will entertain you and make you smile, you don’t need to look any further.
Finally, be sure to check out the variant covers at the back of the issue, from incredibly talented artists including Chris Samnee and Matt Wilson, David Mack and Thomas Pitilli.