Written by: Ed Brubaker
Art by: Sean Phillips
Cover by: Sean Phillips
Still white-hot from the hype-machine of the interweb, Fatale has once again sold out at the distribution level. Luckily I was able to snag a copy at my local shop this time around. From what I understand this comic is still flying off the stands. Check out my review of issue #1 if you missed out on all the action last time around. Layers of Lovecraftian-esque lore are woven around this mystery as we dive deeper in to the quest for some ancient heirloom. The McGuffin plot device set’s this one up for another round immersive cult drama.
Brubaker doesn’t beat around the bush and ditches some speculation baggage straight away for the sake of clarity. In the “Story Thus Far” opening section in Fatale #2 we are given some new information about the characters and a reveal about the back story. Josephine from present day is also the mystery girl from the 50’s in the lost manuscript (and from the what I gathered from the sub-text it is a true story). Apparently Josephine is some kind of succubus ala Hellraiser, because she hasn’t aged a day since the ’50’s (it was visually hinted, but now I definitely know). Also Nicolas’s god-father, Dominic Reign (also known as Hank Reign), is the main reporter character in this apparently autobiographical manuscript. Things that were clues are just straight up spelled out for you. Now I can just concentrate on the 1950’s back story at hand. Thank god, because it’s a tangled one.
The second installment of Fatale is a slow intricate burn of what the fuck. The plot is dense; much in the same way The Girl WIth a Dragon Tattoo is complicated: A shit-ton of characters, WWII back story, Nazi deviants and morally ambiguous behavior.There’s a lot going on, however there’s such a genuine draw to the writing style and subject that you can help but being sucked in. It’s obvious that more pieces of the puzzle need to be put in place order to appreciate the full picture here. I would say that this is exactly the kind of comic that you wait for the trade to come out, but then you wouldn’t get the awesome bonus features that Brubaker and Phillips give you at the end. Jess Nevin writes an essay on Edgar Allen Poe and Phillips illustrates a gorgeous 2-page portrait to accompany it. Never the less, I worry that the difficult and inaccessible nature of this tale will eventually scare off readers. That would suck, because despite my criticisms I really want this to do well
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