The Fox
The Fox Issue 3 Red Circle Comics.png
The Fox (Modern Version)
Cover to The Fox (vol. 1) #3 (January 2014)
Art by Dean Haspiel
Publication information
PublisherMLJ Comics
Archie Comics
First appearance(Patten)
Blue Ribbon Comics #4 (June 1940)
(Patten, Jr.)
Blue Ribbon Comics vol. 2, #6 (March 1984)
Created by(Patten)
Joe Blair (script)
Irwin Hasen (art)
(Patten, Jr.)
Richard Buckler, Stan Timmons (script)
Tony DeZuniga (art)
In-story information
Alter ego- Paul Patten
- Paul Patten, Jr.
Team affiliations(Patten)
The Ultra-Men
(Patten, Jr.)
Mighty Crusaders
Abilities(Patten)
Highly trained athlete
(Patten, Jr.)
Skilled martial artist
'
Cover to Blue Ribbon Comics (vol. 2) #6 (March 1984).
Art by Rich Buckler and Rudy Nebres.
Series publication information
PublisherArchie Comics
ScheduleMonthly
Format(vol. 1)
Limited series
(vol. 2)
Ongoing series
Publication date(vol. 1)
October 2013 – March 2014
(vol. 2)
April – Oct. 2015
Number of issues(vol 1)
5
(vol 2)
5
Creative team
Writer(s)Dean Haspiel
Mark Waid
J.M. DeMatteis (vol. 1)
Artist(s)Dean Haspiel
John Workman (vol. 2)
Jose Villarubia (vol. 2)
Letterer(s)John Workman
Colorist(s)Allen Passalaqua

The Fox is the name of two fictional superheroes that appear in periodicals published by MLJ Comics and later Dark Circle Comics.

Publication history

The first Fox (Paul Patten) debuted in MLJ Comic's Blue Ribbon Comics #4 (June 1940), in a story written by Joe Blair and drawn by Irwin Hasen.[1] He appeared in that title until the series ended with issue #22 (March 1942).

He later made a guest appearance in Mighty Crusaders #4 (April 1966), as part of a crowd scene featuring nearly every superhero published by MLJ (the story, somewhat ironically, was titled "Too Many Super Heroes!").[2] He returned in issue #5, where he forms a team called the Ultra-Men with heroes Captain Flag and the Web. This was the sole appearance of that group. Some of the Fox stories from this period were written and illustrated by Alex Toth.[3] The first Fox's final appearance was in Black Hood #3 (Oct. 1983).[4]

The second Fox debuted in Blue Ribbon Comics vol. 2, #6 (March 1984). The Fox appeared in several issues of Blue Ribbon during the mid-1980s. He also appeared in issues 9 and 11-13 of Mighty Crusaders as a member of that superhero team. His final appearance was in Mighty Crusaders vol. 2, #13 (Sept. 1985).

In October 2013, Archie Comics released The Fox under its Red Circle Comics imprint as a five issue mini-series which ended in March 2014.[5][6] The series was written by Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid, with art by Haspiel; backup Shield stories were by J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Cavallaro, and Terry Austin.[7] The mini-series was later collected into trade paperback in July 2014 under the name The Fox: Freak Magnet.

The Fox returned in another five-issue series in April 2015 under the relaunched Dark Circle Comics imprint. Volume 2 had the same creative team from the mini-series.

The Fox will return in a one-shot titled Family Values which will be released in June 2022.[8]

Paul Patten

MLJ Comics

Fictional character biography

The Fox is secretly Paul Patten, a young news reporter and photographer for The Daily Globe, and a former athlete at Penn State University.[9] He has a camera that attaches to his belt. His editor and girlfriend is named Ruth Ransom.[10] Patton's main reason for becoming the Fox was to further his career. As a crimefighter, he is the first on the scene with his camera.[11] His first mission pitted himself against the hooded Night Riders, a stand-in for the Ku Klux Klan.[12]

Whenever dangerous situations arise, Patton quickly changes into his costume, which consists of a black, skin-tight body suit, complete with pointed ears and (in some adventures) a golden fox head logo on his chest. Ron Goulart says, "It took Hasen a couple of issues to realize a hero's costume is a fantasy thing that doesn't have wrinkles or baggy knees."[9]

Although the transformations from photographer to superhero are never illustrated (artists favored a simple panel with the caption "Paul Patton becomes the Fox!"), it is assumed that the costume is worn under Paul's street clothes.

Powers and abilities

The Fox has no superpowers, but is a highly trained athlete.

Dark Circle Comics

Paul Patton is revealed to have been the original Fox who later passed down the identity to his son, Paul Patton Jr.

Paul Patten Jr./Paul Patton Jr.

Archie Comics

Fictional character biography

The second Fox is Paul Patten Jr., the son of the original Fox who made his debut in Blue Ribbon Comics vol. 2, #6 (March 1984). His girlfriend is Delilah Monaco, who is secretly the She-Fox. Paul and Delilah are unaware that the other person has a secret identity.[13]

The second Fox wears a black full body stocking with a covered face and pointed fox "ears".

Powers and abilities

The second Fox has no superpowers, but is a skilled martial artist.

DC Comics

In the wake of the continuity altering "Final Crisis" company-wide crossover, DC Comics licensed rights to the Red Circle and Milestone Media heroes, choosing to bring them into DC Universe continuity. It was announced that in March 2010,[14] the Fox would appear in a back-up feature in the Shield comic book series, written by Brandon Jerwa and with art from Michael Avon Oeming.

Paul Patten Jr. is a film director from Seattle in this version.[15]

Red Circle Comics/Dark Circle Comics

Fictional character biography

Paul Patton Jr. was raised as a child in the town of Beaver Kill where his father, Paul Patton, operated as the Fox.[16] Patton took up a career in photography and eventually got a job as a photographer in Impact City. His wife, Mae Patton, operates as the She-Fox while his son, Shinji Patton, follows in his father's footsteps as the Ghost Fox.[17][18]

Patton wears a black full body stocking with a yellow fox head emblem on his chest with a covered face and pointed fox "ears" as his costume.

Collected editions

Trade paperbacks

Title ISBN Release Date Collected Material Issues Published
The Fox: Freak Magnet 978-1936975938 July 2, 2014 The Fox Vol. 1, #1–5 October 2013–March 2014
The Fox: Fox Hunt 978-1682558867 September 11, 2018 The Fox Vol. 2, #1–5 June–October 2015

Notes

  1. ^ Markstein, Don. "The Fox". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  2. ^ Wells, John (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1965-1969. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 978-1605490557.
  3. ^ Black Hood #2 (Aug. 1983) and #3 (Oct. 1983)
  4. ^ Benton, Mike (1992). Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 152. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  5. ^ Smith, Zack (23 September 2013). "Waid and Haspiel trap THE FOX for Archie". www.newsarama.com. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Preview: The Fox #5". Comic Book Resources. 7 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Preview: The Fox #4". Comic Book Resources. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  8. ^ Egan, Toussaint. "Archie Comics’ superdad returns in 2022 with The Fox: Family Values: Dean Haspiel returns to pen another story in the life of the so-called ‘Freak Magnet’," Polygon (Jan. 13, 2022).
  9. ^ a b Goulart, Ron (Dec 2008). "All the Way with MLJ!". Alter Ego (82): 4.
  10. ^ Nevins, Jess (2013). Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes. High Rock Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-61318-023-5.
  11. ^ Offenberger, Rik; Castiglia, Paul (2016). The MLJ Companion: The Complete History of the Archie Super-Heroes. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 978-1605490670.
  12. ^ Mougin, Lou (2020). Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics. McFarland & Co. pp. 119–120. ISBN 9781476638607.
  13. ^ Blue Ribbon Comics vol. 2, #7 (April 1984)
  14. ^ "DCU IN 2010: THE FOX, by Michael Avon Oeming unveiled". www.dccomics.com. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  15. ^ Gluckstern, Rachel (18 December 2009). "Editor Rachel Gluckstern on the next wave of Red Circle characters".
  16. ^ The Fox (vol. 2) #1, April 2015
  17. ^ "The Fox (Character)". Comic Vine. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  18. ^ The Fox (vol. 2) #2, May 2015