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Casanova #1

Written by Christian Hoffer on Sunday, July 11 2010 and posted in Reviews

Casanova is the critically acclaimed spy book by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba.  With issues being rereleased under the Icon imprint, now is a perfect time to jump aboard and experience the trippy multidimensional book for the first time!

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:


CASANOVA #1
Written by MATT FRACTION
Art by GABRIEL BA & FABIO MOON
Cover by GABRIEL BA
Rated Mature ...$3.99
FOC - 6/17/10, On-Sale 7/8/10




Review:


Casanova has been one of the more critically acclaimed creator-owned series of the last few years. A popular recommendation among local comic stores and internet bloggers, it's received critical acclaim despite its initial limited run and availability. Luckily for readers everywhere, Marvel is rereleasing Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba's spy comedy as part of their Icon imprint with the promise of new issues following the reprinting of the initial twelve issues. Marvel sweetens the pot a little by adding a new bonus story to Casanova #1 written by Fraction and drawn by Fabio Moon.


For readers who don't know about Casanova, the title character of the comic, Casanova Quinn, is a thief for hire whose interests often fall into conflict with his father's EMPIRE organization. Swashbuckling and unbuckling his way through a series of adventures, Casanova becomes entangled in a multiversal plot involving the villain Newman Xeno and a dark version of his sister Zephyr, who in his timeline is the recently deceased star agent of EMPIRE.  Timelines collide and Casanova finds himself in a new multiverse where no one knows of his true identity. The bonus story shows some of the aftermath of Casanova's endeavors, focusing on a EMPIRE nurse whom the mercenary seduced for his gain.


Casanova is a decidedly high-concept comic, one that requires the reader to have an understanding of comic book staples like alternate realities and global peacekeeping agencies to fully enjoy this comic. However, it is a spy book at heart, with the title character dressing and acting similar to a certain popular spy. However, Casanova is far more sociopathic than James Bond, manipulating friends and foes alike for his own gain. While the high concept is a little daunting, Fraction does his best to keep the reader focused on the humor and strong characterization present in Casanova. The highlight of Fraction's writing are the hilarious asides of the characters interspersed between panels. Still, the plot is a little hard to follow and may require an extra read or two to fully understand the machinations of Newman Xeno's nefarious plan.


Gabriel Ba's art is gorgeous in its unique cartoony style. While some of the art suffers due to the dense pages (the original comic only had sixteen pages instead of the standard twenty-two), Ba still generally manages to capture Fraction's tones perfectly. Ba's Casanova is smug and cocky while maintaining a sense of charm about him. Fabio Moon, meanwhile, does a great job of capturing Ba's style in the backup while adding his own unique touches. While Moon's art lacks the simplicity of Ba's, he does manage to draw a stunning page spread which captures the trippiness of Casanova perfectly.


All in all, this is a solid first issue. While "new" issues of Casanova won't be out for another year, the rereleased Casanova #1 will assuredly draw new readers who missed the wild spy book the first time.






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About the Author - Christian Hoffer


Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.

 


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