Review: Fatale #18
✔Sean Phillips' art is fantastic, keeping with the crime noir feel and introducing some epic spread pages.
✔Brubaker is finally making some developments in the story
✔Colouring by Elizabeth Breitweiser is fantastic
✔Lovecraftian elements finally coming in to the playing field
✘ Jo's cycle of seducing men and getting them killed is getting old
✘ Some of the art is lazily done
Fatale is back after we missed out last month and it’s back with style. After a character’s death in the last issue, the band mates hide the body due to the fact that they have been robbing banks and do not wish to draw the attention of the authorities. Brubaker’s long narrative has turned most people off for being too cryptic and moving too slowly however I have stuck with it, sensing the playoff to be interesting. We are starting to get a taste of that in this issue and the Lovecraftian elements are starting to merge together with the feel of the noir. Jo’s enemy is closing in and this issue is very much a setup to an extraordinary event that will take place within the following issues. Honestly I am excited and glad that I have stuck with it. I have dropped comics in the past for moving too slowly and have regretted it every time once they progressed so I am making sure not to make the same mistake with Fatale.
I have really come to pity Jo as a character as every time when she seduces a man or loses control of her abilities, its always at the cost of innocent lives. And then once she has made the mistakes she makes them again a decade later and leaves herself filled with guilt. And you really can’t help feeling sorry for her as she didn’t ask to be what she is (whatever she is) and to have her abilities. This issue is visceral in tone and it’s heartbreakingly beautiful to see how Jo’s destruction rips people apart from the core outward.
Sean Phillips is also doing some amazing things with the art. Usually in his books he doesn’t do double splash pages and relies on smaller panels, however there is a scene here where memories flashback to certain characters and as a tool he has a splash pages of images crossing over and it look phenomenal. Phillips is doing some amazing things with his art here but I also feel that some bits of this issue are lazily done. Near the beginning some of the faces are really undetailed and the hair texture is near non existent. It looks really bad when the art is not done with full effort but this is a minor gripe in a great book.
The sombre and in areas bleak colour palette fits the book perfectly and gives the effect of blood a certain flash when it is displayed on the pages. Elizabeth Breitweiser is doing a bang up job on the colouring in this book and just as good of a job on Velvet (which is worth picking up if you haven’t already) which came out last week. Teamed together, Brubaker, Phillips and Breitweiser make an awesome team which have the ability to create a brilliant Lovecraftian-noir comic.
Overall I wouldn’t recommend jumping on at any point other than issue one which would make your best bet to pick up the trades. They are frequently released and would make the story much clearer than jumping on now. However if you’re thinking of jumping off this title I would advise against it as Brubaker is planning something big that any comic fan will not want to miss