The Fox returns as part of Archie’s new imprint Dark Circle Comics. We have a few reviews on the site of the first series so we figured why not give this a group review and see what a couple of the writer’s on Comic Bastards thought of The Fox #1. That said each participating writer will give a score and their thoughts on Dark Circle’s The Fox #1.
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!
I really enjoyed this first issue. There was a solid narration running throughout the issue and while at times it seemed a bit too hell bent on reminding me that times were simpler, it works for the story. Especially since this story is trying to be a throwback superhero tale in a lot of ways, but it succeeds in a lot of ways too.
What I found to be particularly weak about the story was the fact that it brought up the previous volume of The Fox unnecessarily. That’s fine that there’s a mention, but they kind of kept hammering at it which seemed counterproductive to this being a first issue. I’m here as a new reader and the overall impression that I got was that the first volume was better and I should just read that. Probably the opposite of what the creators were going for, but that’s how it came off to me when the adventure I read didn’t compare to the ones they mentioned previously occurring.
I still like the world and the characters even if they are throwback cheesy at times. The world created is rich with history and even if I found myself want to explore that history more than the present, it was still entertaining.
I thought The Fox was charming for the first handful of pages, but then turns to corny really fast. Everyone, at some point, has to move out of a home or leave a place or set of people that meant something really special to them, so the main theme of this issue has a lot of potential. But the execution is entirely unsatisfying. Haspiel's pulpy art does nothing to improve upon the two-dimensional depiction of the vomit-inducing nostalgia that oozes from the page. I get that some people don't want to let go of the past, but it's hard for me to feel the impact of how pathetic that is when you contrast it with a guy who runs around in a fucking onesie fighting crime.
I don't know, maybe I'm just getting old. But on-the-nose superhero stories don't do it for me anymore. It's not like you need a superhero plus a gimmick: superheroes themselves are the gimmick, and there needs to be more depth beyond simple family drama to get me to stick around. Superhero comics in general and The Fox specifically are not inherently bad. It’s just that the basic formula is so worn out that I will always ask "why should I give a shit?" The Fox doesn't answer the question with anything but equally tired melodrama, and Haspiel isn't virtuosic enough to get me to come back just for pretty pictures.
The Fox has moments that shine and feel good. For me though they were too few and far between. There wasn't any specific element that popped. Nothing feels particularly fresh.
The artwork is basic and gets the point across but is hardly a talking point. There's no panel that I would show to someone to get them excited. Okay maybe there is one, but if I showed that it would be very misleading as to the rest of the issue.
The Fox #1: Fox Hunt – Chapter 1 Writers: Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid Artist: Dean Haspiel Publisher: Archie/Dark Circle Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/15/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital