sergestorms's Fatale #14 - Just A Glance Away review

This most recent jump into Jo and Booker's past contains the same riveting dark mystery

This issue continues to use some of the most powerful devices that Brubaker has used in Fatale. Throughout the series, he has used the feeling of an omniscient, powerful evil that is out there and in the shadow, sort of outside the vision of the reader. In this issue, we see Jo, compelled to continue on in her desire to understand her fate. As she later does, in this issue of her life during WWII, Jo is swept forward by a need that is never fully explained. We know she feels this need intently. Is the need from inside, from the unnamed demon that Bishop and his cadre worship, or some other unseen power from the unseen world that is always there but not ever understood and explained? Brubaker does not tell us, but we see Jo, despite her supernatural charm, recklessly trying to find information that will enable to understand her life.

Booker is somehow gifted with the ability to see that there is more to the world than the rest of us. He doesn't understand it, but knows it is there. Somehow Booker ends up in the war in the Carpathian mountains, where Bishop is and where Jo is lured. Again we don't know how Booker ends up there in the war, but we are left to think that it is not chance. We see the Booker that Jo later tells Raines, the reporter, that was not always a corrupt cop, but a courageous man too. But we don't know what coincidence of force brought him to Romania but can be satisfied that all is not as it seems. Brubaker paints just enough of that shade into the background that we know it is there.

So Booker rescues Jo and away they go together. Jo is never happy. She knows that this is just temporary. She feels safety with him for now and companionship with someone that knows that the world is not as it seems to others. But she is doomed to always be looking over her shoulder for the unknown dark evil that she is somehow tied to.

Booker is also doomed as we already know. He knows there is more to the world and knows Jo has some irresistible pull on him that makes him want to be with her and protect her. It is not love or reason.

So the issue does a great job of continuing to give us more history of Jo's tragic curse and with its twin aspects of her ability to manipulate any man on earth except the demons that relentlessly hunt her for her body and soul which they desire to sacrifice to an unknown master. The pacing of the book is perfect. Brubaker never pushes the plot so fast that we feel that the action has outrun our understanding. He also expertly gives us just enough background to continue to lead us on in this bizarre saga. While this issue isn't groundbreaking or the most impactful of the run, it is again very entertaining and continues to lead the reader on wanting to read more. One amazing trick is that while there are not true heroes, Jo and her thralls somehow outwit Bishop and his cult fanatics through desperate tactics. I don't know where the plot is heading and I don't care. Each book individually is compelling enough for me to want to keep going.

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