Published: January 15th, 2013
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Art by: Sean Phillips, Dave Stewart
Image Comics, 136 Pages
Since I really enjoyed Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Fatale – Book One: Death Chases Me quite a bit, I didn’t want to waste time jumping into the second of the five installments.
Like its predecessor, there is still a healthy amount of noir and Lovecraftian horror in this tale.
I really loved this book. It took what was established in the first, expanded on it greatly and upped the ante as well.
With this volume, you really feel connected to Josephine and her “curse” or whatever the hell it is, we still don’t know exactly by the end of this tale. We just see more history on how her appearance in men’s lives causes severe pain and human wreckage. You also still aren’t sure if she is wholly innocent, a victim of her condition or if there is something more sinister in her past.
This story takes place in ’70s Los Angeles and the antagonists are a Hollywood cult similar to the Manson Family but much more evil and expansive. In fact, the story makes reference to Manson and how even he was speechless in the presence of the cult leader in this tale.
While this is set further away from the traditional film-noir era than the previous book, it feels more in line with a true noir. The darkness of noir and horror merge seamlessly in this and from a stylistic standpoint, this volume is more fine tuned than its predecessor.
The story is dynamic, entertaining and you care about these characters, even though you know that most of them won’t live beyond this dark tale.
Brubaker has really found his groove with Fatale and I absolutely love Sean Phillips artwork.
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.