Published: July 10th, 2012
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Art by: Sean Phillips, Dave Stewart
Image Comics, 144 Pages
Ed Brubaker is one of the most prolific creators in comic book history. His work has been everywhere but there is something extra special about his personal work. While he’s penned stories for DC and Marvel for years, whenever he puts something out on his own, it’s a real treat for comic book fans.
Being that I also love film-noir and Lovecraftian horror, seeing those two things come together in a Brubaker story is really exciting stuff for me. Now this series has been out for a little while but I didn’t get my hands on it till just recently when Comixology was having a sale on Brubaker stuff.
Man, I’m really glad I picked this up, as it was a cool experience and maybe my favorite indie series alongside B. Clay Moore’s Hawaiian Dick, which also took noir, supernatural elements and mixed in a Tiki vibe.
Fatale is almost standard noir but it has a dark, gritty horror twist with some H.P. Lovecraft flavor. This comic series goes places that others don’t and it’s uniqueness is refreshing.
This first story arc, there are five total, introduces us to this strange world. We meet Josephine, a seemingly standard femme fatale. However, we learn that she is apparently immortal and that there are some dark forces at work that she is involved in. It seems that every man she comes in contact with has their lives ruined in some way. She has this magical ability that hypnotizes men into obsessing over her, even if she wants them to or not. She is pursued by a violent cult that worships cosmic gods. Jo has some sort of relation to these gods.
This story arc takes place in the 1950s but other stories happen at different points in time.
The stories of Brubaker backed by artistic mastery of Sean Phillips is just such a great fit, especially with the visual and tonal aesthetic of this series. They collaborated on other projects, all of which were critically acclaimed: Sleeper, Criminal and Incognito. I’m sure I’ll read through them after I get through the five volumes of Fatale.
I really liked this book and I look forward to what’s next. This story served as a solid introduction to a world I had no idea I wanted until I jumped into it.
Pairs well with: The other volumes in the Fatale series. Also, B. Clay Moore’s Hawaiian Dick series, as both share a lot of similarities with noir and the supernatural.