The Fox #1 (Archie)

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Rating: 4/5 – An endearing and fun character with a story to match.

I didn’t know much about the Fox before reading this first issue, but the creative team of Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid drew my interest.  Not only do Haspiel and Waid headline this series, but comics lettering legend John Workman, and cover artist Darwyn Cooke also lend their talents to this book.  After reading this issue, I’m pleased to say that the talents involved deliver.  Strong storytelling, paired with amusing and cartoony art make this a fun and fresh read.

Paul Patton is a photo journalist that dresses up as the Fox to make the stories come to him.  In this issue he’s interviewing a Ms. Lucy Fur who is as beautiful as she is successful.  But as the Fox finds out, she’s not as beautiful as she seems when he develops her photos and sees her true form.  It’s a pretty straight forward story, but in it’s simplicity the book is full of charm.  Haspiel has a way of making the Fox seem so endearing to the reader.  I do think Haspiel has an opportunity to dive deeper into his regular life, as the Fox is married and has a kid.  Although we get to see just a glimpse of his home life, I think this would be a great subject to explore a bit more.  As most mainstream heroes lose this part of their lives to keep them “fresh”, writing stories of how Paul Patton deals with this part of his life would match that endearing quality mentioned above.

In regards to the art, Haspiel’s line is smooth and minimal.  He doesn’t put too much on the page, he puts just enough.  The art is cartoony in the best way as he adds some nice little touches to the Fox’s costume, like his ears flopping from one side to another within the action scenes.  Adding to the cartoony feel of the book are the colors.  Colorist Allen Passalaqua gives the book a lighter feel to match the story so it all fits so well together.

I’m in for the rest of this series and I hope more people give this book a try.  It’s light, fun and easy to read without ever sacrificing the reader’s enjoyment.  I’m so glad I gave this book a try.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – shawn@comicspectrum.com
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