"The Fox #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Circle Comics
Written by Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid
Illustrated by Dean Haspiel
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 15th, 2015
The Dark Circle Comics line doubles in size with the addition of The Fox joining The Black Hood on the stands. The book finds the title character returning to his soon-to-be demolished hometown as his alter ego Paul Patton Jr to photograph it for his day job. Unfortunately for him, there's something strange lurking in this ghost town and the Fox is going to have to look into it.
The Fox is a sequel of sorts to a previous comic entitled Freak Magnet, also by the creative team of Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid. Fortunately, you don't need to have read that in order to enjoy this new book. Haspiel and Waid provide you with the backstory for the character without turning into a Bond villain filled with exposition. I would liken the character to Spider-Man in that he's the every man of this world with truly horrible luck. He seems to attract the strange and supernatural alike, whether he likes it or not. Paul takes it all in stride as he's used to it. When some weird stuff starts to pop up in the town, he jumps into action.
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This brings Paul face-to-face with someone from his past, although a much different version. He quickly switches tactics from his fists to his lips to deal with a woman who is manipulating plant life in the area. This strikes me as very odd and incredibly awkward as Paul took his son along for this ride, so how is it going to look when he's making eyes with a topless, green-haired witch woman while mom is waiting at home?
Haspiel's artwork is a great fit for the character, matching his nimble leaps and carefree attitude with a nostalgic flare. Paul looks like he's a man out of time, snatched from the World War II era and plopped into the present with a chiseled jaw and neatly parted hair. The Fox costume is simple, yet fitting. Seeing Paul jump into action once he puts on the mask gives you a great idea of his personality too.
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The design for Linda, the aforementioned green-haired woman, stands out and not just because she's mostly naked. She has a long shawl wrapped around her lower body with root-like veins running down her arms, legs, and neck. She's become one with the world around her and it shows. There are two locks of hair at the front of her head that are always sticking up, like a pair of horns or antennae, giving her an alien look. She's sexy, yet mysterious and deadly.
The Fox is thrown back into action with a horde of evil-doers waiting in the wings to take him apart. He's a small-town man facing incredible odds, as a nefarious crime kingpin paints a target on his chest. The book doesn't pack quite the punch as The Black Hood just yet, but it's definitely a very different type of comic, landing more on the fun side of super heroics and less on the grim and gritty.