Initially, I thought the Fox character was equal parts Creeper, Wildcat, Savage Dragon and Batman (at least visually). Having read a handful of his newest adventures from co-creators Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid, I can confidently say he’s some of that, none of that and an entirely different character.
“The Fox” is a series with wide appeal. Readers who favor the Creeper or Savage Dragon or even Deadpool will find something (or maybe even everything) to enjoy in this series. Haspiel and Waid have made every issue of their work with the character accessible. Considering both the previous series — the work prior to the Dark Circle imprint and this one — the co-writers have provided the series with an easy-going flow, freeing readers from any continuity constraints.
Sure, there is an underlying subplot that carries through this series and drives the threats towards the Fox, but the Fox believes himself to be a freak magnet and opponents like Brontosaurus (who, funnily enough, looks nothing like a dinosaur), the Insidious Elasto and the Mad Gadgeteer don’t provide much evidence to the contrary. As ridiculous as their names, these foes of the Fox are given personality quirks and are prone to Silver Age-level monologues and declarations.
Haspiel builds plenty of goofy into the characters’ appearances as well, from the large, impossibly expressive eyes on the Fox’s mask to the odd, hulking red mess that calls himself Brontosaurus. Haspiel’s storytelling is crisp and sharp, with tight panels that contain all of the action and guide the story’s flow. The Fox and Ghost Fox are both lithe throughout the issue and all of the characters are expressive and energetic. Haspiel inserts some visual tributes to Jack Kirby in the Gadgeteer’s design and drops plenty of Kirby dots into the backgrounds.
Alan Passalaqua’s colors are strong and bold, but balanced. Nothing is overpowering and the backgrounds work nicely with Haspiel’s drawings. Passalaqua adds some texture and dimension to the backgrounds on occasion but never at the expense of Waid and Haspiel’s story. The hand-lettered sound effects from John Workman round out the sleek throwback visuals of this comic. In addition to visually bonding “The Fox” #2 with the “Savage Dragon” comic, Workman’s lettering is crisp, clean and organic, working quite effectively for the excessive exclamations the villains drop throughout this issue.
“The Fox” #2 is a smart, fun comic worth checking out. Haspiel, Waid, Passalaqua and Workman give readers exactly the type of comic the readership clamors for: light continuity, strong characters, action, intrigue and plenty of fun. Readers looking for a new start with a fun new character and offbeat adventures need look no further than “The Fox” #2.