Death Chases Her
Fatale is the new series from the creative team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips who brought you series such as Sleeper, Criminal and Incognito. This is just the first of many promising series distributed from Image Comics that are coming out this year. Upon hearing the premise of this series, I was instantly attracted to this title.
This was a perfectly written and executed first issue of the series. Ed Brubaker immediately pulls you in to this story and never lets you go. I love his style of storytelling. I don't think I've ever been disappointed with something he's written. The issue begins with a prologue that introduces us to a man named Nicolas Lash and a woman named Jo (Josephine) -- Josephine being the woman on the cover of the issue. Both are at a funeral of a man they're both connected to in a way. Their lives become entangled shortly afterwards as an unpublished manuscript surfaces and a group of men come gunning for Nicolas who Jo defends. The story certainly takes an unexpected turn towards the end of the prologue that you won't see coming (as is the case with the entire issue).
Once the first chapter begins we're immediately thrust into a bar scene in 1956 involving Jo (who looks the exact same as she did in the prologue). All the elements this series is made of begin to pour out over the pages. You get the crime/mystery moments during a stroll through a gruesome crime scene full of mutilated corpses. At the flip of a page you see some strange nazi flashbacks involving some type of occult ritual. So many questions arise while reading this issue. It may peeve some readers but I loved it. I can't wait to see what Brubaker has in store for everyone.
Sean Phillips has the perfect style of art for these types of stories. It's why he works so well with Ed Brubaker. Add colorist Dave Stewart to the mix and you've got a recipe for success. It's so easy to become entranced in the art and just linger over the beauty of it as you read the story.
As an added bonus that you'll only find in the back of this issue and won't be included in the trade, is a letter from Ed Brubaker followed by an article from Jess Nevins about H.P. Lovecraft. It was a pretty illuminating piece of writing. On the same page was a spooky but very cool art piece that accompanied the article.
This was a nice way to begin the new year -- a perfect blend of crime-noir, mystery, suspense, occult and action. This issue is so good that after I finished it, I immediately started reading it a second time. Don't sleep on this. I've already pegged this as one of the best series of 2012.Rating: 5/5