One of my new favorite and most enjoyably entertaining of comics came out today – Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid’s The Fox. After a surprising reaction to Dark Circle Comics issue 1, an introduction through the Free Comic Book Day release, Dark Circle Comics have easily become one of the brightest publishers in the industry. What makes their titles so interesting is that their writers and artists all focus on telling as pure a story as possible; something that could become lost when attentions focus to bigger agendas. Dark Circle Comics are about concerned with everything we love about Wednesdays – comic books! With today’s release (5/6th) of issue two of The Fox, we have another strong addition to an already great story.
One of my fondest memories as a child was watching Saturday morning cartoons with my father. We watched everything from “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” on Fox Kids to “The Tick.” What I enjoyed most about “The Tick” was what I now know as Ben Edlund’s writing. He had a sharp sense for creating absurd situations rife with colorful heroes and villains. The takeaway each Saturday was that not all heroes were dark, brooding, or even that super. All a hero had to be was someone willing to do what is right, someone with a belief in the future; that tomorrow will be a better day. “The Tick” taught me that and while he wasn’t as intellectual as Peter Parker, he still left a very special imprint on my childhood and who I am now. This is the very same feeling I get from reading Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid’s current incarnation of “The Fox.” Anyone could be a hero. I’ve often felt while reading this issue that it would make for a perfect cartoon to remind the kids of today (and adults) that still believe in heroes, that good, old-fashioned adventure will never die. I truly believe that there’s a certain strength and appeal to this book that makes it so charming. Any day that I recall a memory from my childhood is a great day, indeed! I’d like to thank Dark Circle Comics for bringing back a little of that for me.
We pick up with Paul Patton Jr. and his son, Shinji at the bank. He’s a freak magnet as we’ve learned and they get caught up in an escalating bank robbery that turns into “a group of the city’s most dangerous criminals” trying to collect their million dollar payday by killing The Fox. Shinji reveals to his father that he wants to be just like him – a Fox, but not just The Fox. The Ghost Fox! Donning a costume that looks just like his father’s but is all white, “consider this the passing of the torch… willing to take on the jobs [The Fox] no longer wish[es]to do.” So our un-dynamic duo face off against The Brontosaurus, who looks like a giant, magma rock creature straight out of Scooby Doo, The Insidious Elasto (why do these villains keep reminding me of Edlund’s “The Tick”?), and The Gadgeteer, just don’t call him “The Mad Gadgeteer” though!
Each character, hero and villain, is adoringly rendered by Dean Haspiel and colored by Allen Passalaqua. Their work on “The Fox”, particularly Chapter Two: The Other Shoe stands out as another solid entry in their ongoing saga of “that notorious freak magnet.” One that you really should be reading! Dark Circle Comics have maintained a balance of humor, fun, and excitement that brings a sense of a Saturday morning cartoon skewed more towards a teen and up crowd. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of “The Shield” which should another fun title to add to the pull list.
“The Fox” Chapter Two: The Other Shoe gets five out of five stars.
The Fox #2
Plot: Dean Haspiel
Art: Dean Haspiel, John Workman and Alan Passalaqua
Script: Mark Waid
Cover: Dean Haspiel
Father and Son Variant Cover: Howard Chaykin
Dark Circle Movie Throwback Variant Cover: Robert Hack
On Sale Date: 5/6
32-page, full color comic