I've been a fan of the Red Circle characters from back when DC Comics launched its Impact imprint. The Mighty Crusaders, The Web, The Shield… all fun characters that harken back to the golden age of comics. So I was very curious when I got a link to the first issue of the new Red Circle Comics series The Fox by Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid. I eagerly scrolled through the pages (can't flip page on a PDF file) and thought I'd share my feelings about it without any spoilers.
Being that this is from parent company Archie Comics, I didn't expect it to be very dark and it wasn't. The book has the feel of a late 70's or early 80's book that we'd grab for a quarter from the local spinner rack. The art by Haspiel is perfect for what the book is trying to be. A little cartoony but action packed. As for the writing, if it wasn't for a few references and moments, you might think it was from the Impact days. The references are fine ("like a cheerleader with Beiber fever" is one), but some of the moments take the book a bit darker and more complicated than the rest of it feels. I think Waid is straddling the fence on whether to do this classic or modern and that leads to a few schizophrenic moments.
Overall The Fox is a fun, light hearted read that Haspiel has a very good grasp on… he wrote the back-up story as well as drew it and it was spot on… I think Waid needs to put aside what makes him a great modern-age writer and embrace his inner Stan Lee a little more.
The Fox from Red Circle Comics hits shelves on the 30th of October. Below is a variant cover by Darwyn Cooke and a trailer for the series.