I’ve never read Matt Fraction‘s Cassanova series, but I was intrigued by the cover of issue #2 of Casanova: Avarita, liked what I saw in flipping through pages (including some great art by Gabriel Bà), and since my local comic shop still had a copy of issue #1 I decided to pick them both up. I’m glad I did.
The premise is a little difficult to explain, so bear with me. Casanova Quinn is a former thief who was thrown into a parallel reality and has become an agent of a cross-dimensional spy organization known as E.M.P.I.R.E. (run by his father). His mission is to clean up the mess his displacement has caused by cauterizing timelines by causing spatiotemporal holocausts. Got all that?
In the latest series Casanova has learned the real name of the arch-villain Newman Xeno who put him in this predicament. Armed with that knowledge Cassanova has been jumping realities killing as many versions of Luther Desmond Diamond as he can find. And then a funny thing happens, Casanova decides he kind of likes Diamond and doesn’t want to go on killing him.
Casanova: Avarita is a bizarrely fascinating book with a self-deprecating wise-cracking hero that happens to look a whole lot like Mick Jagger. Ba’s art is the perfect match to Fraction’s only semi-linear storytelling. I’ve liked Fraction’s work in the past but I’ve never been wowed by it as some have (see his run on Iron Man). Forget Fear Itself (which is somehow still going), this is the kind of story I want from the writer, as much, and as often, as possible. Must-read.