Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Fox Hunt Continues in THE FOX #3 & 4!

It's been a really long time since I've written about THE FOX: FOX HUNT. This is a sequel series to the first mini-series featuring the Fox and the second title in Archie Comics' Dark Circle line of superhero comics. The Fox is a reluctant superhero named Paul Patton, Jr. He keeps trying to retire, but learns that he has become a freak magnet of sorts. He attracted the attention of an evil corporate CEO named Mister Smile in THE FOX #1, when he fails to stop a villain named Dream-Demon from poisoning the site of a new river basin. This wouldn't have been so bad, but Dream-Demon implicated Patton. This led Mister Smile to place a $1 million bounty on the Fox's head.

This resulted in a three-way attack in THE FOX #2 on the Fox -- and his son Shinji AKA Ghost Fox -- by Brontosaurus, Elasto, and Gadgeteer. Shinji took off after Patton told him to give up his costumed identity. Now the Fox is searching Impact City for his missing son -- and inadvertently being hunted by even more super-villains!

This leads to two issues of nonstop battle between the Fox and Ghost Fox versus a bunch of Red Circle/Dark Circle villains, including Madame Satan! She is a green, tentacled villain based on a Golden Age Satanic character. She first appeared in the original THE FOX mini-series. She sought to seduce Paul Patton, Jr., but ended up getting killed. She returned in THE FOX #3, resulting in a lengthy battle to the death. Fortunately for the Fox, he ended up on the winning end of that battle -- barely!

Meanwhile, Issue #3 featured a battle between Shinji and a villain named Pneumo the Shockwave Assassin! Pneumo wears an outfit that fires lightning blasts. I scoured the web trying to figure out where I'd seen him before. It seems that Dark Circle and Archie Comics took an old character with the same name as a prominent Marvel Comics superhero (AKA Iron Fist), painted his outfit green, and gave him a new name! Pneumo used to fight against the Web, but decided to give foxhunting a try. Fortunately, a secret assist from Mae Patton (AKA She-Fox) saved Shinji's bacon and led to Pneumo's defeat!

This leads directly into THE FOX #4, where the Fox -- exhausted from his earlier battles -- finds himself on a psychedelic journey, courtesy of the Gasser (AKA Martial Law) and his gas-based gun, the Crime Clown (a villain who turned to a life of crime after a woman told him that she could never marry a clown!, and the Great Gray Owl (a criminal vaudeville performer)! This battle ends pretty quickly once Patton realizes that he's fallen under the influence of the Gasser's gas!

Finally, Issue #4 leads to the moment where the Fox discovers that Mister Smile has captured Shinji. It's now up to him and She-Fox to save their son from this crazy millionaire!

Did I mention that it appears that Mister Smile has some sort of super-suit? We readers have only captured hints of it since it first appears in Issue #3, but you can catch a better peak at it in the preview page of Issue #4. Things really don't look good for Paul Patton!

"The Devil You Know" and "The Snoring Corpse" were both written by Dean Haspiel & Mark Waid; with art by Dean Haspiel; lettering by Rachel Deering; and colors by Allen Passalaqua.

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