When Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips team up to do a book, you know it is going to be something special. Fatale is no exception. With some heavy noir undertones and hints of a Lovecraftian sense of dread the book sucks you in and leaves you wanting more by the end of the issue. One of my favorite things about this book so far, is the fact that it is very low on supernatural happenings. But there are a lot of hints given, and not a lot of overtly supernatural things happen. I am sure that as the series progresses, more and more supernatural things will begin to creep out of the wood work.
UPDATE: read both Patrick and Renaldo's reviews after the jump!
We are introduced to a cast of characters that we are unsure of their motives at this point, but are intriguing enough that I want to find out more about them. Especially Jo, a woman who appears not to have aged from the 1950's, and has connections to what looks like a crooked cop, a reporter, and the reporters godson in the future.
The story does start in the present but flashed back to the 50's less than half way though. Sean Phillips really shines in this book. His style is perfect for the time period, and Dave Stewart's colors complement the art perfectly. One great thing about the recent books that Brubaker and Phillips have been putting out is the articles in the back of the issues that pertain to the subject the book is about. Since this is a horror book, this article is about H.P. Lovecraft, and his importance in the realm of fiction, as well as talking about other authors before Lovecraft who dealt with similar themes. These text pieces are only available in the single issues. They will never been reprinted in trade, and from what Brubaker says in the book, not be available in the digital version. This is a treat for those of us who still buy single issues from a comic shop.
If you are a fan of Brubaker and Phillips, you will definitely enjoy this book. Or if you are a fan of noir, pulp or Lovecraft, then you should also enjoy the book.
Somehow I see a Scorsese film, as the story that unwinds here is woven well from the prologue to the spine of the issue. It's well paced, a full-on dramatic story with an underlying suspense that keeps us on the edge of our seats. I swore I saw Leonardo Decaprio, Matt Damon, Sam Worthington and Angelina Jolie somewhere in these brilliant yet stymied characters. There's a grit fashioned in each character's scene that makes for much anticipation as to what's the next move.
It's also nice to see the noir-ish tact and delicate skill that Sean Phillips, always bring to the table, A-GAME intact, with such deftness and amazing culpability. I can't help but admire and fall breathlessly for this flawless tone of grim yet telling sketches. I really don't have much to say about Brubaker's take, but that the Modesty Blaise-like car chase, and the gorgeous female sculpted by Phillips, makes me forget about remarkable past works such as Criminal, Incognito and Captain America, in this retreat to a new book, a new world...where there's secrecy, intimacy, lies galore, and when that subterfuge runs out...I sense a smoking gun romance.
The mystery thickens with each page, and clearly these guys are able to translate to me, in Trinidad and Tobago, sitting and reading the book, just how much work and effort they put into not only conceiving this title, but bringing it to fruition...clearly with some aces up their sleeves. They pretty much had me at HELLO!
There's so many ideas interconnecting here...it's like a puzzle amassing...and I cannot wait for the masterpiece to be finished. I thoroughly enjoyed it! (9.5/10)