23rd Jan2018

‘Rivers of London: Cry Fox #3′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Andrew Cartmel, Ben Aaronovitch | Art by Lee Sullivan | Published by Titan Comics

Rivers_of_London_Cry_Fox_3_Cover-A

Always a pleasure when a new issue of one of my favourite books drops. I read many comics every month, and some I read through a sense of completion rather than a sense of enjoyment, but can honestly say that has never been the case with Rivers of London. Consistently enjoyable and fun to read, I often can’t even find fault when I want to, to throw in a little criticism now and again. Damn you Cartmel and Aaronovitch.

So, Cry Fox has been tapping into the place of the fox in fairy tales and mythology, intriguing enough, but the scope of the story widened much more last issue. Talking foxes and foxes in human form aside, Peter’s niece Abigail has been abducted, as has Anna, the daughter of a Russian family. The abduction is not what it seems, as the large estate to which they have been taken includes a certain Alaric, a man obsessed by a book, ‘The Hounds of Zaroff’. Essentially a book about a rich man hunting human beings for sport. I think you know where the story is going with this….Actually there was one more development last issue. Alaric didn’t think Abigail was worthy of the chase, so decided to kidnap Peter’s colleague Guleed as well, much more resourceful. Let the hunt begin.

The first few pages are a quick check in on all the main payers, getting us up to speed on who’s where and who’s doing what. Abigail, Peter’s niece, is proving most resourceful, stealing some twine from the garden she can use as a weapon, even as Guleed has arrived as prisoner on the estate. Fossman, the fox /human, is keeping Dan Russell’s (the talking fox) family hostage while he waits for his payment for supplying fresh victims. Dan decides the best course of action is to talk to Inspector Nightingale, as Fossman doesn’t strike him as honouring his promise to free Dan’s family. You scratch my back , I’ll scratch yours.

Alaric, meanwhile, has confessed to Abigail and Guleed why they are there. To be hunted by hounds and horse until they either escape or are killed. Alaric explains it all comes from his obsession with that story. Why didn’t his mum give his ‘The Wizard of Oz’ or something, far less damaging. Anyhow, they best prepare. Nightingale and Dan have struck a deal. Nightingale goes with Dan and frees his wife and cubs from the cage they were in, and Dan reveals to Nightingale the location of Abigail and Guleed, and the identity of Alaric. There is also the ongoing matter of the Russian girls kidnap, as the ransom is being paid and she is being returned back to her family. We think.

Another solid issue, and I liked the subtle points being made about hunting and fox hunting in particular. Not overly preachy, but woven into the story. Nice to see Nightingale get a bit of the spotlight too. In fact, Peter featured very little this time round as the story dictated more time for all the supporting characters. Think of it more as ensemble piece this time round. The script, dialogue, and character work was as fantastic as always, and Lee Sullivan’s art was as solid and enjoyable to read as always too. A tip of the hat to colourist Luis Guerrero as well, always brings a consistency to the art and to the world we enjoy every month.

I am literally running out of ways to say ‘this is a great book, you should be buying it every month’. The bonus text pieces and one page stories that are thrown in are also a nice touch, adding a little more depth and background, even context. For entertainment value and consistently top notch story and art there’s not much out there that can top Rivers of London.

If you only buy a couple of comics a month, this should be one of them

**** 4/5

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