Archive for Fox

It’s a Clint Barton Christmas!


Hawkeye #17

In a flashback to a previous issue, Clint falls asleep while watching a cheesy Christmas cartoon and dreams that he’s a cartoon dog who has to rescue the superheroic and holiday-themed Winter Friends — even though he has no superpowers. He’s assisted and hampered by a bunch of other cartoon dogs with suspicious similarities to his friends and teammates. Can he save Christmas?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Glorious cartooning by Chris Eliopoulos. Really, I don’t know what else I can say — just plain glorious cartooning by Chris Eliopoulos.


The Fox #5

Paul Patton finds himself trapped in the past — stuck in a battle between the Druid and a trio of WWII supersoldiers — the Shield from America, Master Race from Germany, and Hachiman from Japan. The Druid plans to use his magical powers to destroy the world, and the humans can’t stop fighting each other instead of the true menace. The Fox has to convince them to join forces — not just as superheroes, not just as fellow humans, but as kindred spirits.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice story, and a nice wrap-up to the series. Nice to see the rare example of the Axis supervillains given a chance at redemption, too.


Black Widow #4

Natasha gets a very routine assignment that gets very complicated when someone blows up an embassy right out from under her. The villain is some sort of deluded powerhouse monk, and he’s more than a match for the unpowered superspy.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Much more enjoyable story this time — it makes it much more bearable for this character when she’s taking on people who are tougher than she is, instead of a bunch of normal schmucks.

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Crazy like a Fox


The Fox #4

Paul Patton, Jr. is the Fox, everyman superhero trapped in a bizarre fantasy world. He’s facing off against the Marvel, a gun-wielding Golden Age superhero driven temporarily mad by the sorcery of the villainous Druid. Another Golden Age hero, the Inferno, manages to calm the Marvel down — unfortunately, he only manages to do it by inflicing a fairly serious wound to him. And that leaves the Fox to fight the mad, mind-controlled barbarian king on his own. Can the Fox prevail? Meanwhile, in the backup story, the Shield and his World War II enemies must join forces to battle an alien monster that plans to subjugate the entire earth. Can they stop the otherworldly horror without some unexpected help?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This series has been getting more and more enjoyable all the time, and the amazing double-twist ending at the end of both stories just ends up pushing the entire thing to an even higher level.


Black Widow #3

Natasha Romanov accepts a mission to rescue a wrongfully-convicted prisoner from an Argentinian prison. The jailbreak goes smoothly enough, with the guards and other hazards easily dispatched by the superheroic superspy — but Natasha starts to realize that the prisoner may not be everything he appears.

Verdict: Ehh, man, I dunno. It’s pretty by-the-numbers espionage stuff. The action is pretty good, and the glimpses we get of Natasha’s home life and her neighbors are enjoyable. But I’m just not seeing enough characterization of the Black Widow yet — and it takes more than decent action and by-the-numbers espionage to make a good comic.

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Farewell, Young Avengers


Young Avengers #15

It’s the final issue of “Young Avengers”! NO FAIR! Can we trick Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie into continuing this series somehow?

Marvel Boy has a heart-to-heart with Broo — who isn’t actually paying attention to him. Loki makes an appearance, we find out who zombie Patriot was, We find out where Tommy was hiding, and we get one final moment with the whole team together. Plus one final surprise about some of the characters’ sexual orientations…

Verdict: Thumbs up. And not just for this issue, which was entirely fun and charismatic, but for the series as a whole. We need more superhero comics where the characters are this much fun to read about. The big reveal at the end will get everyone talking, but the bigger news is that it’s still possible to make fun, exciting teen superhero comics that don’t skimp on the action or characterization and never devolve into mindless carnage. DC could learn some lessons from this book.


The Fox #3

The Fox is still traveling through a strange crystalline fantasy world, dodging deadly traps and monsters. He encounters and defeats a giant spider and a flaming monster, discovers a transmogrified superhero, and saves another hero, only to land in even more trouble than before. Meanwhile, the Shield battles two wartime enemies, but discovers they may actually be on the same side for once.

Verdict: Thumbs up. My favorite issue of this series so far. I’ve complained that it didn’t feel like it was bringing the A-game that it should, but it’s finally feeling like the kind of butt-whupping comic we should expect. Let’s hope it keeps the party train rolling…

Today’s Cool Links:

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Young Avengers #13

It’s the final battle between the Young Avengers and the monstrous shapeshifting mind-controlling Mother! And while Wiccan tries to become the Demiurge, and the teen heroes on Earth fight off the alternate-universe monster versions of the Young Avengers, the rest of the team is fighting Leah and her allies — who are all, somehow, different facets of Loki’s personality. No, I don’t understand how it works either, but once Teen Loki confesses, Leah and the rest of her stooges vanish, except for the zombie Patriot. But it may do no good, because Mother is about to eat Wiccan and take control of the universe. Can Hulkling manage to give his lover the pep talk he needs, or is this the end of everything?

Verdict: Thumbs up. No, I didn’t really understand all of it, but it was stylish and beautifully illustrated and fun, and it’s everything that great superhero comics should be — and we gotta enjoy the heck out of this series while it still lasts. So it’s worth getting, either now or whenever it gets released in trade paperback.


Velvet #2

Velvet has been framed for the death of several agents, and she’s on the run, trying to avoid getting apprehended or killed. Is there anyone she can trust, or is she completely on the outside now?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yes, it’s a very short plot description because nearly the entire story is devoted to epic chase scenes and fistfights. The action is absolutely fantastic, and you should be reading this one for that alone.


Hellboy in Hell #5

Hey, I thought this one ended months ago. Hellboy is still in Hell, and he meets up with some old gentleman who sold his soul to the Devil years ago. He and his friends agreed to the bargain on the condition that if they could answer the demon’s questions on the day he harvested them, they could go free. Can Hellboy figure out a way to get the old man’s soul free?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a nice story, and it’s got real live Mike Mignola artwork. Yeah, this really better be on your list, kid.


The Fox #2

So the Fox finds himself running around some bizarre crystalline world being menaced by a giant monster — until suddenly his wife Mae appears, wearing a costume similar to his and calling herself the She-Fox. And she pretty much kicks his ass all over the city. But wait a minute — wasn’t Paul in some crystal world just a minute ago? Who’s trying to gaslight him and how can he escape? Plus we get a short backup story about the Shield and how he spent part of World War II.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The story’s fine and the art’s nice. The story and characters are growing on me, though I still wish this were a bit more epic and out of the usual Marvel/DC formula.

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What Does the Fox Say?


The Fox #1

Okay, I’ve cut back really drastically on my superhero reading, thanks to dropping most of DC’s books, so I should check out a few independent superhero comics. This is the part of the relaunch of Red Circle Comics, which is basically the superhero comics line for Archie Comics. Our lead character in this comic is Paul Patton a newspaper photographer who periodically takes the superheroic identity of the Fox, mostly trying to find interesting news he can take pictures of. And usually, the news he runs into is much, much more exciting than he really wants to deal with.

So in this issue, Paul gets to interview the beautiful Lucy Fur, a social media star who’s launching a new site called MyFace. Paul is smitten, at least until he discovers that Lucy is actually a skull-faced demon called Madame Satan! Can an unpowered hero survive against a supernatural demon? And the the backup story, the Fox must deal with a living, shapeshifting house that wants to steal his vintage Polaroid camera.

Verdict: Well, really, I’m not that sure. The story’s fine, the art is fine, dialogue and characterization are both fine. But it just seems sorta middle-of-the-road. Something like this needs to bring its A-game to drag people away from Marvel and DC, and this comic isn’t committing yet to playing the A-game. I’ll keep reading it, at least for a few issues. But it needs to take things to the next level if it wants to be anything other than something quickly forgotten during the next summer crossover.


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #5

There’s a lot of stuff that happens in this issue, a lot of it pretty weird. Blue gets shot but recovers and discovers the deactivated form of the giant robot Destroya. Korse is dropped into a re-education center, but escapes through sheer force of will. Cola and the Girl both get shot; Cola dies, but the Girl has an out-of-body experience, talks to someone called the Phoenix Witch, and learns that she has the power to drain or recharge batteries and to restore or create life — and that her cat is actually a tracking device. Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a lot of weird stuff, but it makes sense in context — even more so, it makes a lot of awesome in context. Don’t know if this story is really post-apocalyptic or if it’s more of a pre-apocalyptic thing. Or if it’s a reverse-the-apocalypse thing. Heck, I dunno, but it’s good fun.

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