Review: Fatale #1

Published on January 6th, 2012

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have really brought us some great work. This team of Writer and Artist have explored the seedy underbelly of various criminals with Criminal and have shown us a super hero world run amok with Incognito. Now they are back again to spin a new tale in Image Comics Fatale! I don’t want to spoil anything so if you haven’t read the book please I highly recommend you go read it first, as it is a fun read! When you are ready to continue come back and read my review of one of my MOST anticipated series of 2012!

fatale_1Having read plenty of Brubaker’s work, from A Complete Low Life to his most recent jaunt’s on both Captain America and Bucky and Captain America, it is easy for me to see why I continue to come back to the well of greatness that is Ed Brubaker! He mixes noir style easily with other genres like a bar tender would mix a drink. Even his latest work on Criminal: Last of The Innocent gave us a look at what would happen if an Archie or Encyclopedia Brown style character had grown up and decided to go down a morally dark road. It is easy to see why he is on a short list of GREAT modern day comic writers and his latest book, Fatale is, as you guessed it, another not to be missed classic in true Brubaker style!

Fatale #1 is easily a book I would recommend after just one issue. Sean Phillips seems to be really stepping it up and doing some of the best work I have seen him do in a while. It seems as though he isn’t relying on the shadows to do most of the work in this new series and is getting super detailed! So much so that I swear he must have been using Don and Betty Draper’s kitchen (MADMEN) as a reference in one of the panels because it was instantly recognizable to me! I would also like to add that Dave Stewarts colors in this book really lend a lot to the overall feel of the story. On the note of the story, Brubaker is weaving an intricate tale that cuts between a present day Nicolas Lash and his Godfather, now deceased, Domonic Raines. Already there are tons of unanswered questions and the pacing of the story is pitch perfect leaving you guessing where exactly this story might go to, one thing we know for certain it is going to get dark!

The name of the first book is called “Death Chases Me” which I am sure alludes to Jo, the mysterious “supposed” granddaughter of one of Domonic’s ex lovers as well as these mystery men trying to gun down Nicolas in modern times. This along with a mysterious manuscript left to Nicolas and a case taking place back in 1956 dealing with the occult and Nazi’s seem to be the overall direction of this story. Like I said questions galore and if I have learned anything from reading Brubaker’s past work then I know this will be a tale worth following every month! After reading the first issue I can safely say it is heavy on substance and style with a keen eye towards exploring something I have never seen Brubaker explore, monsters. Not monsters in the sense of super villains or people who are truly horrible human beings but honest to god monsters and I am terrified at how good this story will be!

Final Verdict: Fatale brings an edge to a genre that Ed Brubaker made popular again, and with that he seems to have redefined what noir can be yet again! Sean Philips and Ed Brubaker are an unstoppable force in the art form of comics and we are all the better for it! Pick up Fatale #1 and buy one for your friend they will thank you for it.

Sheldon Lee