Fatale Bk. 1: Death Chases Me – Review

Paperback, 144 pages
Published June 27th 2012 by Image Comics
Fatale, Volume 1: Death Chases Me collects: Fatale (Single issues) #1-5
Edition language: English

Do you like noir stories? Do you have an interest in Lovecraftian horrors? Well this is the comic for you.

Fatale is a supernatural noir comic book created by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (who visited the Malta Comic Con 2013). Inspired by the Femme Fatale of noir stories, this story revolves around a woman with apparently the ability to make every man fall in love with her. However, this story takes us through different time eras and shows us that this woman is not what she seems on the surface. Very early on, we are introduced to a man whose life gets turned upside down when he meets Josephine or “Jo”. The story implies that this woman has been living for a very long time without showing any signs of aging. Later on we discover that reality is littered with horrific creatures, and that one in particular, has been looking for “Jo” for a very long time.

I do not like to write reviews where I summarise the main plot, this being a case in point because the whole fun and thrill of this book is to try and uncover the mystery surrounding Josephine. What is her deal? Why is she running and why does an occult cult keep searching for her?

The story begins simple enough.
A man attends the funeral of his reclusive godfather.
After the funeral, he meets a beautiful mysterious woman named Jo.
Jo saves his life, and he finds himself enmeshed in a decade’s long conflict that is clearly out of his league.

Brubaker uses flashbacks to tease out the back-story on Jo, Hank (the godfather), and this conflict. Slowly as the story progresses, we discover that the noir story becomes one of Lovecraftian horror instead.

Even though this first volume only partially answers some questions by hinting at answers, and not providing definite closure, it sure does build an interesting world and develops characters deep enough that I became invested in and curious enough to read the next volumes and to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Brubaker and Phillips are at their best with a story like this. Blending horror with classic noir elements, they have set the scene for other comics to follow. With Fatale they’ve combined a gritty crime story with a disturbing horror tale and created a unique supernatural noir. The art is Phillips‘ signature style and it makes this story come to life. Combining excellent writing and thrilling action, the team of Fatale are delivering a gem of a comic which can be enjoyed by both horror and even detective thriller fans.

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