"Fatale#1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Ed Brubaker
Illustrated by Sean Phillips
2011, 32 Pages, $3.50
Comic Book released on January 4th, 2012
As a huge fan of Ed Brubaker's writing in general, I'm always happy to check out anything he's written. His work with Sean Phillips has been exceptional, although I have yet to read Sleeper. When I heard that the pair were working on a new book that dealt with H.P. Lovecraft called Fatale, I was in. Granted it took me awhile to get my hands on a copy, but boy was it worth the wait.
This first issue is split into two parts. We're given a prologue that's set in what appears to be present day. Nicolas Lash is burying his godfather Dominic Raines when he's approached by a mysterious woman named Jo. She says that Raines and her grandmother had a fling ages ago. Lash uncovers a forgotten manuscript and then his life goes to hell.
Flashback to the 1950s for the rest of the issue, which shuffles between a few characters, including Raines and Jo's grandmother. There's a series of gruesome murders and hints to some serious monsters.
Brubaker and Phillips know how to tell a great story that harkens back to the golden age of comics. There's a ton of pulp fiction here. The dames are gorgeous and the men are tough. Brubaker nails the dialogue. Towards the end of the issue, Raines has this bit of narration, "Just thinking about her name was like a punch in his guts." That's so damn cool. It's like something right out of Sam Spade.
Phillips' art is terrific. You can tell that he and Brubaker are comfortable working together. The comic flows incredibly well, weaving between each of the characters. Phillips' style puts those old dime store novels to shame. I cannot wait to see what comes up next and what he gets to draw.
As with their previous creator-owned work, Fatale comes with some bonus features that are exclusive for the single print issues. You get a bonus essay and illustration that is not reprinted in the trade or for the digital version. Jess Nevins writes the one included here called “H.P. Lovecraft and the Horror of the Unseen." As someone who has never read the work of Lovecraft, it's a very eye-opening article.
Fatale is the perfect answer to anyone that doesn't want to read about dudes in capes. This is a noir comic that's dealing with H.P. Lovecraft’s creatures, gangsters, and hot chicks. Just pick it up and thank me later.