Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lovecraftian Noir - FATALE by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

I got a surprise in my inbox yesterday.

FATALE, the latest collaboration between Sean Phillips, who did the artwork for CITY OF THE LOST, and writer Ed Brubaker.

I have nightmares like this.
And holy shit is it good.

The story, at least this part of it, bounces between Dominic Raines and Walt Booker in the late 50's and Nicolas Lash in the present day with Josephine, a mysterious woman who doesn't seem to age, connecting them. She has a secret, probably more than one, and a power to draw men in and control them, though she seems to see it as more curse than boon.

Aside from the fact that trouble follows her wherever she goes and her ability to create obsession is in full force, we don't really see the curse part in action, yet, but given some of the hints dropped in the first issue I get it's gonna be a whopper.

Brubaker does an excellent job of laying down the groundwork for future issues, putting forth questions I get we're going to be spending a lot of time trying to find answers for. Who's Josephine? What's her secret? What happened to her during the war? Brubaker uses the shifting perspectives of his four protagonists to great effect, dropping hints of past horrors and future betrayals.

Phillips's artwork jumps off the page, capturing the characters' joy, shock and terror. When Phillips shows us Walt and Josephine together, Walt standing there sucking on a cigarette, his face completely hidden in shadow, Walt's utter contempt is palpable.

And it's all enhanced by Dave Stewart's coloring. The muted tones really add to the noir feel.

When done well, and this one is, first issues are a delight to read. At the same time they leave you itching for the next one and a month feels like a long time.

FATALE comes out next Wednesday, January 4th from Image Comics. Find a store near you and grab a copy.

1 comment:

Joe Myers said...

Man, I'm gonna have to check this out. If it were any further up my alley, I'd be inclined to lock my doors.