Publisher: Red Circle Comics
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Art: Dean Haspiel
Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Letters: John Workman
Covers: Dean Haspiel, Howard Chaykin w/Jesus Abutro, Mike Norton w/Mike Cavallaro, Mike Cavallaro, Alex Toth
Review by Scott Keys
I have to say, the Red Circle Comics revival has been great! What started with the New Crusaders & is continued in this amazing solo mini with the Fox has been nothing less than stellar! The final issue of The Fox mini-series, “Freak Magnet,” sees the convergence of the J.M. DeMatteis back-up story of the Shield and The Fox in tale from the far-flung past.
From the beginning, I loved the writing on this book, and the finale is no exception. DeMatteis does an excellent job of merging the two storylines into an amazing finale. It’s fun to see someone from our modern era (The Fox) interacting with someone from our greatest generation (The Shield), and the differences between their styles of approaching situations. The Fox’s “Pep” talk (see what I did there? If not, look up Pep Comics) to the Shield and his nemeses, Hachi-Man and Master Race (The Shield’s counterparts from Japan and Germany respectively), is both eye-opening, and inspirational!
Of course, what are comics without art? Prose, I suppose, but thankfully, this book is illustrated by one of my new favorite artists, Dean Haspiel, with color work by Allen Passalqua. The art team really took the “Freak Magnet” moniker seriously, giving the readers some very “freaky” visuals, such as a 30 foot tall Druid, or a lion with a Medusa-mane. And the cartoony style and bright colors don’t detract the reader from any of the violence and mayhem that ensues in this story, in fact, I’d say it adds to the allure. Most people see the cartoony style of art and assume it has to be all-ages, but when done right (like it is here), it can be very serious and dangerous for our heroes. I think the art gives the story more fluidity, and actually makes some of the more surreal portions that much more so (check out the scene where our unlikely allies are stretched and formed into Unity…it’ll make sense when you read it, I promise!).
As you can probably tell from my review, I highly recommend this book (and all of the books Red Circle has put out since coming back, for that matter), and as read at the end, the team is already working on the second mini-series. So, do yourself a favor and track this mini-series down (or get the trade when it comes out, I’ll allow it) and give it a read! For a stable of characters that have been around as long as they have, this book felt new and exciting! The team on The Fox did a fantastic job of combining the retro superheroics with the modern storytelling, giving the readers something better than the sum of it’s parts!
Art: 5 / 5
Story: 5 / 5
Overall: 5 / 5
Scott Keys is a father, Butler University grad, pharmacist, and full-time comic nerd. You can follow his adventures around the spinner-rack and his Incoherent Comic Book Ramblings on:
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