Comic book storylines have made headlines over the past few years. But if you think they’re only full of superheroes and characters out of summer blockbusters, Fatale will change your opinion.
There’s always something special waiting inside an Ed Brubaker comic. Fatale is no different, but there are some extra special bits thrown in for good measure. I couldn’t tell you what this book is about easily, but that may be what makes it so great.
Brubaker and frequent collaborator Sean Phillips deliver the beginning of this strange tale of crime, noir, murder, and magic. Starting in present day, the opening scenes read like every 1940s private eye film. A prodigal son having to tie up loose ends he doesn’t know about or care to know about, who is met by the woman who literally takes him for a ride by the issue’s end.
The first half of the story set in modern times doesn’t bring in any of the supernatural elements the cover would have us look for. Instead we’re given this idea that something bigger is waiting for these characters once they, and we as the reader, learn the contents of these loose ends.
The second half of the book jumps back 60 years, showing us what seem to be the same characters from a different point of view. I don’t know if this will be the format for the series as a whole, telling us one story separated by decades of history between them, or if the modern-day setting is a bookend, something we’ll only get back to once we know what’s going on.
Phillips’s artwork screams of the worthiness this story is trying to tell. When the magic bits kick in, he’s the person you want at the wheel, and he’s already proven himself to be able to pull off the noir aspects of the story.
If this story at all appealed to you, Brubaker and Phillips have a long history of noir-inspired comic books. Check out Sleeper, Criminal, and Incognito for more.
San Antonio is blessed with several well-run comic book stores that will be happy to help you get your hands on a copy of Fatale. Go here for a list.