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Fatale #15 Review

4

As Nick struggles to find answers from prison, he learns about more men who have been pulled into Jo's dangerous web.

The Good

The latest FATALE arc brings us into the present day, with flashbacks to the nineties, and adds another complicated, intense layer to Jo's story. Our old pal Nick is in prison and rapidly losing his senses, plagued by everything Jo has put him through so far -- including the publication of his uncle's (seemingly-edited) manuscript. Rather than answers (or relief), he encounters a mysterious savior in Lance, another of Jo's men. Lance's story takes over from there, and we learn more about how systemic Jo's femme fatale nature is.

By now, we know that Jo is perpetually dangerous, and that even time can't stop her from drawing unsuspecting men into her life. But it's still captivating to watch, especially when she emerges on the scene with seemingly no knowledge of how poisonous she can be to the men she touches. I'm not sure that anyone in this book can escape a meeting with Jo both alive and without blood on their hands, and that's part of its dark, dirty charm. Ed Brubaker has devised a beautiful and mysterious creation, and every time I try to nail down who she is, there's a new hitch. Constant throughout: she drives men mad, and lives up to the book's title.

I adore art that can span decades without losing consistency of style, and Sean Phillips nails it in FATALE (with a perfectly gloomy palette by Bettie Breitweiser). The book is no less the dirty noir it was in the thirties; it's just dressed to fit the nineties grunge.

The Bad

This story kicks off a new arc, but it's not the best jump-on point for the series. A deep, juicy noir like this seems to necessitate immersion, and starting in the middle without context is less appropriate here than with many ongoing books. New readers could probably gather what's going on fairly quickly, but should pick up the first three trades for context.

The Verdict

FATALE continues to draw me in. Maybe it's Jo's eyes; more likely, it's Brubaker and Phillips spinning a beautiful, dark story that just doesn't stop fascinating.

7 Comments
Posted by Cap10nate

Another really good issue for this book. It is moving a little slow for my taste, but it is interesting none the less.

Posted by SavageDragon

@missj Nice review dude. Im happy you (and others) are enjoying one of my favorite books on the shelves. Sara was reviewing this book since the beginning and I have talked with her about how amazing the art is on this book. As Ive gotten older my tastes in art has changed to a point where the likes of Philips, Mazzucchelli, and Francavilla are some of my favorite styles of art. Simply beautiful stuff on this book.

As far as the story I was hooked from the second page. Awesome to have Nick Lash back, hes so tragic and yet you just know there's more trouble for him. Btw re read Fatale #11. Its one of the best issues and there is a little part that relates to this current issue.

Posted by manwithoutshame

I've been buying 27 books a month, and Fatale is my favorite.

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Posted by akbogert

Almost didn't pick this up (was considering waiting until cash was a bit more abundant). Glad I decided to buy it anyway. Really great to be back in the present day, and I agree that one of the best things is how Brubaker keeps saying "oh, you thought you had Jo pinned? How about this?"

This is (like Morning Glories and Mara, the other books at the top of my list) one of those things that I feel people really must read from the start. Reminds me of the "Previously..." recap for issue 10:

Seriously, this is the last part of a five part arc, so there's only so much I can say... You should really just read the previous 9 issues...

Posted by longbowhunter

Being back in the present it feels as if this series is in its home stretch. Really like where this arc is heading. On a side note reading this reminded me how much I want to buy that new Sean Phillips art book Dynamite is putting out.

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Edited by fables87

I love Fatale, but I would not suggest any reader to start with any random issue with this one. I find you have to read this comic from the start to get anything that happens.