superdames asked: I think it's cool that you like such an obscure character, but whenever I see Crimson Fox, I think, "That is a cobra woman." Why does she look more like a snake than a fox? And why is she brown if she's supposed to be crimson?
GOOD QUESTIONS, all!
You are not alone in thinking the Fox looks a little serpentine. The wallpaper on my notebook is the DCAU Fox, and when a comics-reading friend first saw it, her immediate response was “Why do you have a Rule 63 Copperhead on your computer?”
But it is Revson Corporation’s mission to educate as well as entertain, so here is the answer to your questions. Be informed!
The easy answer to your first query is that the Crimson Fox’s cowl is meant to resemble a fox tail. In her first cameo appearance (in JLE #6, as seen here), the tail is short. By her first full appearance (JLE #10), it has already been redesigned to be about knee-length.
However, this is probably a product of dramatic art, since less action-oriented scenes reveal that the Fox’s cowl remains waist-length in her early appearances. It’s similar to how Batman’s cape changes in length depending on whether the artists wants it to flutter in the wind in operatic fashion.
As time went on, different artists preferred different lengths, the most common being an extra-long tail that coiled around the Fox’s legs as she posed. In the opinion of Revson, this head-whip was beautiful for its decided preference for form over function.
But, mon ami, this does not get to the heart of your first question! And here at Revson, we care only for the heart!
As the tail gets longer, and her hood more emphatic, the Fox’s cowl indeed does look more and more like a cobra than a fox. Some artists try to make the hood look more vulpine by giving it pointed corners, simulating fox ears. Others redesigned the costume altogether to emphasize le renard. By the relaunch of the Justice League Europe as Justice League International, the Fox had dropped the cowl altogether in favor of a clearly foxy cap. (This didn’t last: within a year, she was back to a variant of her original costume.)
Given all these redesigns, it would seem DC Editorial was just as mystified by the character’s original design as you are, mon ami!
We here at Revson, however, applaud the Crimson Fox for challenging our preconceptions of what a fox should look like. We think her cowl is a dazzling show of sartorial creativity in a sea of bland capes and—gasp—jackets.
Proudly donning their head-whips, the D’Aramis sisters dare to look you in the face and whisper, with all the charm and womanly mystery they can muster, “See? I am A FOX!”
PS The color thing is a boring legal issue. In her original appearance, the Crimson Fox was called “The Red Fox”, which is too close to a European comics character named Redfox. Her name was changed and costume brownified by her next appearance in order to disprove any claims of copyright infringement.