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Casanova, Vol. 1: Luxuria Hardcover – June 5, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Casanova Series

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Image Comics (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582406898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582406893
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.5 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,730,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Casanova follows Cassanova Quinn: international thief. He is the son of Cornelius Quinn, who runs E.M.P.I.R.E. (Extra-Military Police, Intelligence, Rescue, and Espionage), and the brother of Zeph, and exemplary agent of E.M.P.I.R.E. After Zeph is killed in action, Casanova is brought in by his father, has a fight with him, and eventually jumps out of a flying casino to escape certain death (and a gambling debt). On the way down, he accidentally breaches space-time to an alternate reality where he is the one who died in service of E.M.P.I.R.E. and Zeph works for Newman Xeno, hedonistic leader of W.A.S.T.E. (only Xeno's terrible mind and blackest heart knows what that stands for). Casanova teams up with Xeno and Zeph to infiltrate E.M.P.I.R.E. And that's just the first issue!

Matt Fraction takes the concept of a James Bond spy story to a whole new level. Fraction takes all the old spy standby traditions of cool gadgets, double- and triple-crosses, sexy femme fatales, and suave secret agents. To this he adds copious sci-fi elements, psychic battles, and pop-culture references. Casanova was put out during Image's experiment with 22 page comics (16 pages of actual content), so the story moves at a fast pace, but Fraction manages to pack in an incredible amount of details. He doesn't spell anything out for the reader, so the book demands full attention to keep track of all the twists and turns.

Gabriel Bã's artwork reminds me of Mignola's, but with more stylish lines and sexier figures. He draws in stark monochrome accented by green shading.

Casanova is best enjoyed like a good song; first take in the rhythm and flow of the words and images, then go back and take in the meanings of the words. The density rewards second and third readings. Though demanding, it's well worth the ride.
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Format: Paperback
With Casanova, Matt Fraction presents a trippy, energetic sci-fi spy thriller that spans the breadth of the space-time continuum with awesome results. Casanova Quinn is the black sheep of the family: a freelance thief whose hated father runs a global paramilitary espionage agency called EMPIRE. His heavily favored twin sister is the agency's star spy until she is murdered while investigating a temporal breach.

Everything starts to go sideways for Quinn when he is abducted into a parallel universe by Newman Xeno, the leader of a terror network hell-bent on the destruction of EMPIRE. In this alternate reality, Quinn is the superstar agent of EMPIRE, while his sister is alive but corrupted by Xeno. Working under Xeno's behest, he is given counter-missions to conduct during his assigned operations in order to undermine the goals of EMPIRE. Both Xeno and EMPIRE have one mutual interest, if not similar desires: the destruction of Sabine Seychelle's criminal empire. In a series of double- and triple-crosses, Quinn struggles to stay one step ahead of everybody in order to survive.

There is a lot going on in Luxuria, the first volume of a proposed seven-part series, and readers will be rewarded for paying close attention. Fraction juggles time-bending alternate realities with spy shenanigans, as Quinn visits exotic locales to grapple with traitors, assassins, sexbots, and ancient military hardware that could destroy the world. Fraction's writing is smooth, filled with smart dashes of humor that occasionally break the fourth wall. Characters, sometimes God Himself, narrate events directly to the reader, bringing them up to speed on the storyline's various threads.
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Format: Hardcover
I can't begin to tell you how cool this comic is. That's really the best way to describe it, absolutely. Freaking Cool.

Alright. It's tangentially in the spy genre, more in the vein of Jerry Cornelius (although much less 'modernistic,' maybe) than James Bond, with generous helping of minty fresh Jim Steranko in there as well. The story? Well, the protagonist, Casanova Quinn, is mixed up between several super-agencies with acronyms for names, and he's also from another dimension or timeline or something. It's a little science-fiction, but not in that "thinky," irritating, way.

To express how cool the series is, in the first issue, Casanova fights like a giant floating head in a floating casino. Only, the giant floating head is actually three guys, fused together by crazy Buddhism. Casanova and said head then engage in a titanic floating staring contest. Later, Casanova sets a town ablaze through orgone overdose, steals a god, and has a kung fu battle in the head of a giant robot.

And not only is the book filled with crazy, mind-bending set pieces, but the characterization is strong, albeit sparse. Most importantly for a work as, uh, inspired as this, Casanova feels like an authentic person.

The dialog is perpetually hilarious and the art sings on the page. It's dynamic and it's in one color, like the old-school Barbarella comics.

I think, of all the hundreds of comics I read every year, this is my favorite probably as far back as I can remember. This particular edition is beautifully over-sized and well-designed. I totally recommend it, especially if you haven't already read the book.

Umm, in summation, the writer is Matt Fraction and the artist is Gabriel Ba. The book is cool. Yes.
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