$14.99 / Publisher: Icon
WRITER: Matt Fraction
ARTIST: Gabriel Ba
Rating: * * * * *
Pushing traditional storytelling to the limit and then pushing it further just for the hell of it, it’s safe to say there aren’t many comics quite like Casanova. The brain-child of writer Matt Fraction, it’s a jaw-dropping and lurid blend of multiple-worlds SF, spy adventure, satire and all-out experimentation that’s been blowing minds ever since the first volume was published back in 2006.
Now, volume 3 has finally arrived, and anyone worried that Fraction’s success writing for Marvel might have watered down his ambition can relax – if anything, Avaritia ups the ante on the craziness as the titular hero faces the consequences of his actions. Following the events of Gula, morally ambiguous antihero Casanova Quinn’s double life has been exposed, and now he’s forced by spy organisation E.M.P.I.R.E. into becoming an annihilator of universes.
However, when Casanova makes an unexpected discovery about a Bowie-esque musician called Luther Desmond Diamond, the scene is set for violence, sex, universal carnage and an unexpected but surprisingly touching love story. This isn’t for the timid – not only does Avaritia feature plenty of male and female full-frontal nudity, but the dense storytelling is deliberately fractured in a manner that demands multiple readings. It may be far from the mainstream, but with Gabriel Ba’s artwork more fluid and daring than ever, and Fraction’s script managing to be both inventively demented and deeply personal, Avaritia is a joyfully weird cluster-bomb of comic book insanity that simply should not be missed.
The next volume of Casanova, ‘Acedia’, marks the halfway point of the saga – Fraction plans for seven volumes, each one named after a deadly sin…