When a superhero desperately wants to stop running around in spandex, so he can retire to a quiet life with his family, do you have any idea how difficult that is when you seem to attract freaks like a magnet? The Fox, written by Mark Waid (Irredeemable/Incorruptible, Daredevil) and Dean Haspiel with Dean Haspiel also providing the art, explores the answer to that question. The current series is a sequel to the 2014 six issue miniseries which has been collected as The Fox: Freak Magnet, however there is no requirement to have read the 2014 series to appreciate and enjoy the current series.
I have yet to read Freak Magnet, and I have never once felt lost in the current series.
The Fox evokes a sense of chaotic fun that harkens back to the Golden Age, while still remaining fresh for todays audience. Originally appearing in MLJ Comics Blue Ribbon Comics #4, the Fox continued to feature in the title until it’s cancellation with issue #22, however he only appeared on one cover; issue #16’s ensemble cover featured every character featured within the comic. MLJ Comics would eventually become Archie Comics, current publishers of the Fox under their Dark Circle Comics imprint.
Although he is another legacy hero (think Robin, Flash, Union Jack, or any character who has taken over for the original hero – the current Fox is the original Fox‘s son Paul Patten Jr), with the way Mark Waid is writing the comic at the moment, the back story of the character really doesn’t weigh on the story in that you can enjoy the 2015 ongoing series, which is currently telling the story arc Fox Hunt,, as a stand alone story. With Fox Hunt, however, it would be a good idea to read the issues in order – or to wait for the collected edition that will inevitably be released following the conclusion of the first story arc.
Issue #4, released on the 8th of July, is no exception to the mad cap fun found within the pages of the other three issues of the 2015 series. Fox Hunt has been one of the best story arcs I have had the pleasure of reading this year. Paul Patten Jr. has been steadfastly trying to retire as The Fox, but because of his innate freak magnet (and the $1,000,000 bounty on his head from the resident supervillain) he’s having a bit of a hard time doing that.
If it sounds that The Fox is a fun series, well that’s because it is. When it comes to enjoying the comics we read, none of the comics on my pull list are as entertaining as this one.
At the end of the day, The Fox is one of the best comics on the shelves right now. The art work’s not quite family friendly (there’s the odd scene of mostly off panel violence that Dean Haspiel will highlight by having the odd bit of gristle or unidentified flesh appear on panel), but it’s a far cry from the gritty feel of many modern day comics. Waid and Haspiel‘s story telling is simply a joy to experience, and the light hearted tone never seems to go over the top into the realm of comedy, but certainly elicits a couple of chuckles from me each issue.
A spoiler free summary will not, and cannot, do the comics any justice, and I urge you to take the plunge and go check out The Fox: Fox Hunt when you can. It’s worth it.
The following review and recommendations are on the first four issues as a whole.
Plot: Dean Haspiel Script: Mark Waid Art: Dean Haspiel
Series Story: 9.50 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5
Dark Circle Comics provided a free copy of issue #4 to review, but I had already purchased the first three issues – and fully intend to pick up a physical copy of #4.
Also published on Graphic Policy