Troubles of a Reluctant Vigilante: The Fox #2 ReviewMay 6, 2015
I will be amazed if, come the end of the year, The Fox does not top my list of my favourite comics of 2015.
We are just two issues into the Dark Circle Comics series from Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, The Quitter) and Mark Waid (Daredevil, Indestructible Hulk), but The Fox has already won my heart. It’s just such unrelenting fun, poking fun at comic tropes while revelling in them, mixing believable characters with the sort of ludicrous villains that wouldn’t have been out of place in the 1966 Batman TV show.
Issue one introduced us to Paul Patton Jr, otherwise known as the superhero The Fox. He wants to pack in this superhero lark to enjoy some quality time with his wife and his teenage son Shinji. But his freak magnet – his unfortunate ability to seemingly draw weird and wild crooks and villains towards him – keeps getting in the way.
On top of that, having seen his dad in action up close and personal, Shinji now wants to follow in his footsteps. So not only does Paul want to give up the tights, he needs to keep them out of his son’s hands too.
Issue two plays off that, with father and son caught up in what seems like a normal, run-of-the-mill bank robbery. Of course, this being comics, it’s actually anything but.
Our chief villain in the background is the evil businessman Mister Smile, who has placed a large bounty on The Fox’s head, and issue two sees the first members of the criminal underworld attempt to claim that cash. And it’s just outright hilarious. The names of the villains in question are funny enough, as is the fact they explicitly question each others villain codenames.
Then there’s a brilliant sequence where The Fox actually reviews a sound effect on the page, to work out which particular crook is preventing him from helping his son. It’s just so clever, both making use of a classic bit of comic storytelling while gently poking fun at it.
Without question my favourite thing about the art in The Fox is the use of the ears on his costume. The mask which The Fox wears doesn’t leave a lot of room for expression, so Haspiel uses the position of the ears (alongside the shape of the eyes) to get across just what The Fox is feeling. Quite how they manage to go from drooping to springing to attention in practice is another matter entirely!
I cannot emphasise enough how much I adore this comic. If you only buy one book this month, it needs to be The Fox. You won’t be disappointed.