Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review - The Fox: Fox Hunt #1

"I wake up craving an Ibuprofen the size of a city bus. They should make those. I'd keep them in business."

When you're a superhero, things rarely go as planned. Some superheroes are always at the ready for the unplanned, even going so far as wearing the costume underneath their "normal" clothes. The Fox is one such superhero and he gets another go at the weird in The Fox: Fox Hunt #1 from Dark Circle Comics. The issue is written by Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid, illustrated by Haspiel, colored by Allen Passalaqua and lettered by John Workman.

When a billionaire philanthropist prepares Paul Patton Jr's home town for demolition, our hero is sent on assignment to photograph the event. But what strange force lurks in the shadows and why will it take Paul's alter-ego, The Fox, to stop it? The answer is the beginning of a deadly fox hunt and you won't believe what happens next.

Unlike other works from Dark Circle Comics (Black Mask comes to mind), The Fox: Fox Hunt #1 has a much lighter tone. Sure, Haspiel and Waid have created a story that boasts villains, nefarious deeds and a hero in peril, but it's presented more as a reminiscent retrospective of what used to be. This method of narration is extremely powerful and allows Haspiel and Waid to effectively introduce new readers to who The Fox is and why he's also known as a Freak Magnet. And doing the issue in the old "Marvel style" gives Waid the opportunity to expand upon the illustrations, as Haspiel told the story through illustrations first. There's never really a point where the story feels off-kilter--despite an off-kilter hero--proving that the team of Haspiel and Waid is very formidable when it comes to The Fox.

The Fox bounds through the pages with a litheness captured beautifully by Haspiel. He demonstrates an adeptness at rendering characters rife with bulging muscles and sharp, angled faces. Patton seems to be most comfortable as The Fox (despite his pangs of retirement) and Haspiel demonstrates him as such. Various poses by The Fox in particular cut sharply against the backdrops of the city and Haspiel's portrayal of a fight against a seemingly invisible foe sells the disadvantage for The Fox. There's a tonal shift in color about halfway through the book, with Passalqua's transition to darker shades effective at taking the reader inside an abandoned storefront alongside The Fox.

The Fox: Fox Hunt #1 is a pretty adventurous romp with a main character who never seems to have a normal day...or life for that matter. Part of the allure of the property is the duality of superhero and regular person, which shines through in the issue. Haspiel and Waid's story flows well in an evenly paced manner. Haspiel's illustrations are relaxed and demonstrate an intuitive approach to The Fox and his world. The Fox: Fox Hunt #1 is an enjoyable comic that doesn't really take itself too seriously.

The Fox: Fox Hunt #1 is in stores now.


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