Bleeding Cool/Hannah Means-Shannon reviews THE FOX #1
"Deep breath. The Fox gives me a false sense that this is a world I can hold onto a little more easily and get my bearings, but not for long. By the way, I was a little nervous that I might not manage to get all three variant covers of The Fox this week, but I did and now I can breathe again. We have Haspiel’s “Freak Magnet” cover, his official “The Fox” cover which was previewed at New York Comic Con, and Darwyn Cooke’s beasty painted cover of the Fox in black running wild in a fleet of foxes in an autumny wood, and Fiona Staples’ lush painted and poised photog Fox descending on you. The covers for this book are going to be mega throughout. I wouldn’t be satisfied with Dean Haspiel if the story didn’t open with a blow-by-blow punch up. His autobio and Billy Dogma comics are known for their freeze-frame slowed time depiction of brutal impact in basic fisticuffs. It goes brilliantly with the writing in narrative boxes from Mark Waid, “What I long for is a simple life. That’s my problem” as we get an entrée into the deep conflicts in the book, led by The Fox’s inner schism. His desire to leave the superhero life and cease maintaining two identities. It’s reassuring and pretty damn funny how Haspiel always manages to work the villainous side of love into his works, and strikes new notes every time. In The Fox, he renders it all as literal as possible with a character who can manipulate those around but is shockingly monstrous on many levels. Even better that he’s drawing on long-established characters here from Archie Comics’ Red Circle universe—even when it comes to many of the villains.
The Fox pic 2The physical movement in the book is something you simply won’t see anywhere else. Haspiel has devised his own power chords in those chosen moments of motion stopped in time. When he renders them, he neatly removes all excess transitions and presents you with just enough information to put the visual narrative together and challenges you to keep up. The Fox’s “voice”, though, is also one of the strongest elements of the book, the way in which he speaks to the reader and establishes his slightly down trodden bad ass smart alec defiance in spare language, and that’s down to Mark Waid. No surprise given his masterful work on Daredevil, and the way that The Fox straddles two lives and finds the melancholy zone of loneliness between the two is no doubt drawn from handling Murdoch’s constant state of tension. Does Fox #1 live up to my expectations? Come on. It’s a sleek, stream-lined introduction to an old world rendered new for us, and it’s sexy and its got all the right swagger. This is comics done the right way, ways that don’t even occur to people to try. If you’re not reading The Fox, you may not realize that comics are stronger now than we have any good reason to deserve given how little creators are paid and how difficult it is to get distribution for original concepts. By the way, Archie Comics just announced that The Fox has sold out on the Diamond level, so get it while you can!"