The Fox #1 with Kate (and Dan)

::Dan sits slumped deep in a comfy chair::

D: ::mumbles:: What a weird day… What a really, really, weird day.

::Kate stumbles through the front door, looking all a mess::

K: SWEET JESUS LORD WITH WHIPPED CREAM AND JIMMIES!

D: What the hell?

K: This was the most bizarre, jacked up day I’ve ever had!

D: You too? And here I thought I was the only Malmon here that got into a fight with that cymbal-playing monkey…

K: There was no percussion-playing monkey doing battle at my work today. But it just seemed to be one weird mess after another. Some days I end up specializing in weird.

D: Our mutual battles with hordes of crazy bring to mind this month’s THE FOX #1. You could say he’s something of a “Freak Magnet.” Just like we were today. In fact, it says “Freak Magnet” right on the cover. That’s so you know it’s the good stuff.

::Holds up comic::

K: This is one of the coolest covers I’ve ever seen.

D: It’s damn cool, that’s for sure!

K: No, it’s really, really cool! It’s like a pop-art explosion right in front of my eyes. I really can’t stop staring at it.

D: So let’s peek inside and see if the story keeps pace with the cover.

K: OK, my day was weird, but not as weird as Paul Patton’s was. Our man Paul couldn’t get any good stories working as a photojournalist, so he decided to put on a costume to become The Fox. He thought the costume would help him find great stories and advance the day job, as well as the fame and the wallet.

D: Sure, the plan worked. But it worked a little too well. The crazy Paul found while wearing the costume followed him home, had dinner with him, and tucked him at night. THE FOX #1 opens with him getting knocked around by some heavies in the employ of the local crime boss. When you mess with Mister Smile, you shouldn’t be surprised when the dumb henchmen tie you to a chair and smack you around a little cause you’re sticking your nose into his unsavory activities.

K: They’re not heavy; they’re his…um…heavy. That didn’t work.

D: Is your crazy day getting to you? Off your game a bit, Red?

K: I…ah…yeah. The crazy lady with the desiccated skull for a face is also throwing me off. She was a good-looking gal when Patton sat down to interview her about a website she was creating with Mister Smile. Then Patton brings out his camera, takes her picture, and the developed photo reveals her true self.

D: MADAME SATAN! What a great name for a villain. C’mon and say it with me “Madame Satan.” Great name + great visual= fun and funky villain.

Come to think about it, I think I ran into her today at work…

K: So hold up a sec. What’s this Red Circle Comics all about? I haven’t seen them around before.

D: Red Circle is actually the super-hero line owned by Archie Comics. A nice added plus to the issue is “The Fox Files: Origin of the Freak Magnet” piece at the back of the issue. It gives a nice recap of the character, from his debut in 1940 up to the present. That and the column by writer/artist Dean Haspiel really serve to give new readers tons of background on the character, as well as Haspiel’s thoughts and motivations.

K: So to sum up, Paul Patton is a nosy reporter-type who tends to get in a bit over his head. And whenever things do get a bit hairy, his puts on his Fox duds and ups the crazy? I like this book. It’s a fun, pop-art flurry of action and wit. Haspiel has a wonderful animated pencil style that makes you want to turn the pages faster and faster. But you know you’re going to go back and read the book again for the story, and again and again to look at the pictures.

D: And let’s face it: Having Mark Waid on scripting chores doesn’t hurt either. Patton is a reporter with a super-hero suit, but Haspiel and Waid make sure that he doesn’t come across as a Spider-Man rip off. Spidey fans will dig THE FOX, but these aren’t interchangeable characters.

K: This day has me feeling like a Freak Magnet, but now I know the real Freak Magnet is Paul Patton… THE FOX!