It's that time of year, again! Yes, it's time once again for Archie Comics to try to relaunch the Red Circle superhero universe again, starting with a one-shot starring The Fox in May. The Fox: Family Values will feature "new adventures of iconic superheroes The Fox, She-Fox, and Ghost Fox" by creators including Dean Haspiel, Vito Delsante, Richard Ortiz, and more.
The Fox: Family Values represents the latest in a long line of Red Circle relaunches which is becoming something of a tradition at the publisher. Most recently, Rob Liefeld relaunched Red Circle at Archie with a new Mighty Crusaders series back in 2020. Difficult as it may be to believe, that project fizzled out in 2021 when Liefeld quit over a dispute with the company over variant covers. A press release from Archie describes this latest attempt:
Archie Comics is setting the stage for the return of everyone's favorite "Freak Magnet" Paul Patton, Jr. in The Fox: Family Values #1. Coming to comic shops and digital retailers May 18, 2022, the new one-shot comic will follow the adventures of the Pattons, The Fox, She-Fox and their son Ghost Fox, as they try to be the best hero family of Foxes they can be! Featuring all-new stories by writer/artist Dean Haspiel, writer Vito Delsante, artist Richard Ortiz, and colorist Matt Herms with veteran letter Jack Morelli, The Fox: Family Values #1 will also include a reprint of a classic The Fox story by Alex Toth, providing new readers with a perfect introduction to this family of iconic characters.
Archie Senior Director of Red Circle Relaunches Jamie L. Rotante, who, according to the press release, said "The return of this classic Red Circle Comics superhero was a priority for Archie Comics," wrote in the press release:
We wanted to bring THE FOX back to the spotlight in 2022 in a way that makes it very accessible to new fans while also honoring what's come before. And what better way to do that than bringing back Dean Haspiel? Dean, alongside Mark Waid, helped firmly establish the modern version of THE FOX in the hearts of fans with the beloved FREAK MAGNET series. What's so interesting about this character is that he's a superhero unlike any other—he can deftly tackle both serious issues and weird and wacky villains and situations all in the same issue. We're thrilled to have Dean back to tell an all-new story, alongside Vito Delsante, Richard Ortiz, Matt Herms and Jack Morelli, and we can't wait for people to grab this one-shot off the shelf in May.
Writer Dean Haspiel, a veteran of past Red Circle relaunches, wrote:
When I plotted and drew ten issues of The Fox, I was basically given full latitude to do what I wanted and it encouraged me to open all kinds of unexpected doors. After a good 5-year break, I wondered where The Fox was these days and realized his 'freak magnet' curse had become a family affair. I decided to explore a day-in-the-life story about a man and his wife and their son and how each one of them deals with their idea of what it means to be a hero. I also wanted to deliver a tale that could introduce The Fox to new readers and spark the possibility of more stories!
Fellow writer Vito Delsante said:
The thing that makes The Fox stand out is that you can tell virtually any story with him! All credit to Dean and Mark Waid for opening the floodgates and making him a 'freak magnet.' There's nothing wrong with telling a typical cut-and-dry superhero story, but I think that being able to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the Pattons is extremely tempting.
Look for The Fox: Family Values to hit comic book stores on May 18th, 2022. And pencil in the next Red Circle relaunch attempt for sometime in 2024, probably.