By Matt Fraction; illustrated by Gabriel Bá
If you were to take equal parts James Bond: Casino Royale, Michael Moorcock and the most insane titles of 1960s/’70s Marvel Comics and shake thoroughly you’d wind up with something like this. CASANOVA, written by Matt Fraction (Last of the Independents, Five Fists of Science) and illustrated by Gabriel Bá (Roland: Days of Wrath, DeTales), is the newest comic title published by Image Comics as well as being seven kinds of strange.
The book opens on Casanova Quinn attempting to steal the Seychelle Ruby, only to be thwarted and captured by his father’s henchman. It turns out that Cass’ dad, Cornelius Quinn, is the head of E.M.P.I.R.E., the world’s policing agency, and that Cass was captured in order to attend his twin sister Zephyr’s funeral. From there the plot just spirals on to include things like a mind wrestling match with Berserko Fabula (a three/one-minded being that used to be three Zen monks), trans-dimensional travel and familial betrayal.
In contrast to the wild content, Gabriel Bá’s art is rather subdued, only showcasing the colors black, white and an oddly chosen olive green tone.
Matt Fraction manages to jam a good deal of material in the small amount of room the title allows for, which is another talking point entirely. Fraction weaves in and out of the sheer absurdity of the story with apparent ease, and in the process has written one of the funniest — and most coherent — adventure comics on the market.