Under most circumstances, cockiness is not a good attribute to have. However, I think a certain percentage (who knows how much) of great rock stars have that air of cockiness about them, and I think it actually helps the rock factor of their work a bit. Warren Ellis' Fell had that cocky "this is going to save comics" air about it, but I think it worked for Fell. Casanova also has that same air, but I think it works here even more than it worked for Fell. The attitude that emanates from Casanova is striking and I think I would even say endearing.
However, stuff like attitude is not going to carry a book if the quality is not there. Fell is a quality book.
Matt Fraction and Gabriel BÃ¡ have themselves a smash hit here. This is one of the coolest comics you are going to read this month. And it's in the Fell format, only almost DOUBLE the pages of a typical Fell comic, and the same $1.99 price point! Really, your only concern with Casanova #1 is finding one in the store, as it is probably going to be sold out at your local comic store.
Matt Fractions' story is quite good, but as good as he is, BÃ¡ is right there rocking the house. I have always enjoyed his work, but in this comic, he is even better than usual. He has a nice Eduardo Risso/Marcelo Frusin thing going on that works sooo effectively.
Heck, since there are some preview pages available, let's check them out, shall we?
See the slinkiness? That is so nicely pulled of by BÃ¡.
But the next preview also shows the fun Fraction is having with the comic...
as the agent just kills Casanova's hostage, and is disappointed it was a robot!
That's some twisted stuff right there.
In any event, the plot of the comic, in a nutshell (and what is so cool is that this comic is not ABOUT the plot, so I could spoil the whole damn thing and the book would still be worth picking up) is that Casanova Quinn is the son of the Nick Fury analogue head of EMPIRE, and his sister Zephyr is the perfect daughter (and Agent of EMPIRE), while Casanova is a world-class thief.
Due to some cross-time continuum, Casanova finds himself in an alternate reality where his SISTER is the bad girl and he is the trusted agent. He is promptly placed in this reality as a double-agent to work against his alternate reality father. Casanova really doesn't seem to care - he's just along for the ride!
This book is just very cool. I especially love the little "asides" in the comic, where the characters have a panel where they speak directly to the reader about the plot. Very cool stuff.
So yeah, Recommended without reservation. Probably the best book you'll read this week, unless All Star Superman is extra amazing...which it very well could be.