Shiny Shelf


Casanova: Luxuria

By Mark Clapham on 29 May 2007

WARNING! Contains spoilers!

We don’t often review comics we’ve covered in single issues again when they come out in collections, but then neither do I normally buy a hardcover edition of something I’ve already bought. But this is ‘Casanova’, and that means the rules are off.

Frankly, I couldn’t resist the oversized hardcover, and re-reading the first seven issues in one sitting made the gap since I reviewed #1 seem ridiculously long. After all, since then writer Matt Fraction has become a rising star of Marvel with ‘Punisher: War Journal’ and ‘The Immortal Iron Fist’, a fact which may convince the superhero fanboy hordes to give this two-tone spy fantasy a try if they get a little nudge.

So here’s the little nudge you need, so subtle you may barely feel its influence on your psyche as you read this review:

Buy The ‘Casanova’ Hardcover, It’s Fantastic.

OK, those of you with wills strong enough to resist gratuitous capitalization may need a bit more info before coughing up cash.

The full seven issues sees Casanova Quinn, dimension hopping thief turned spy, go on a number of missions and counter-missions to places exotic, face-off against villains weird and wonderful, fight someone who might be a god, get tortured a bit, grow a beard, take lots of drugs, be betrayed, have family problems, and some other stuff that happens, not necessarily in that order.

Each issue is self-contained (#6 and #7 a little less so, being a two-part finale and all), but an intricate but never over-complex plot runs through all seven. The page count is shorter than most comics, but Matt Fraction’s dense writing and Gabriel Ba’s tight, stylish artwork make sure each issue is crammed with content, with twists, cool stuff, jokes, references and fourth-wall-breaking asides.

‘Casanova’ is fantastic. I’d put it up there with ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Polly and the Pirates’ and ‘All-Star Superman’ as one of my cast-iron favourite comic books of the last year or so. If you like spies, fantasy, action, hotness, coolness or just stuff that is good, then buy this hardback, then strap in for the forthcoming second volume – judging by where Cass and co are left at the end of the first story, the next chapter promises to be another wild ride.


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By Mark Clapham

Mark Clapham is a Devon-based writer and editor. You can find out more about him at the egotistically named markclapham.com.




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