Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fatale, Volumes 1: Death Chases Me

I read this book because I am a HUGE fan of Brubaker and Phillips' other series, Sleeper, Incognito, and Criminal. I like me some noir and also comics, and here I get those two great tastes together, along with a twist of something else...

Death Chases Me has many great ingredients that add up to a gripping noir thriller. A mysterious and beautiful woman. A shady cop. A reporter who has stuck his nose in the wrong place. A crime boss. A cult. Chases and gunfights through the sewers of San Francisco. Ritualistic, sacrificial murders. An unpublished, tell-all manuscript. And demons. That last feature adds an element of Lovecraftian horror where the evil lurks not only in the hearts of men but also oozes from an infernal pit.

The story mostly involves two intertwined timelines, from the 1930s and the 1950s, and we see how past events dictate those in the future as well as how many different happenings are cyclical up to the present day. Like most noir thrillers, it is difficult to recognize anyone as purely good or trustworthy in these situations, and everyone seems corruptible despite their best intentions. Also, there are definitely a few characters who simply fall into the evil and malevolent categories.

Here is a preview page that I think captures the flavor of the book (originally found here):

This first book mostly sets the scene for what is an ongoing series from Image Comics, and I think it does an excellent job giving out just enough information and shocks to drive a compelling and effective plot while leaving more than enough mystery to keep the reader in suspense and wanting to come back for more. This is another excellent book from an excellent comics-making tandem.

This book's creators are the veteran team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Brubaker is probably best known for a long run on Captain America, and Phillips has drawn all kinds of comics, most notably Marvel Zombies.  They continue to co-produce excellent and enjoyable comics. They are both Eisner Award winning creators and frequent collaborators on series such as Criminal, Sleeper, and Incognito. Both creators talk about this series and their collaborative work as a whole in this interview.

All of the reviews I have read about this book and series have been very positive. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review, calling it an "addictive page-turner." Danny McCaslin praised the book, "Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have delivered a truly great series in the form of a hard-boiled detective story that touches on the very edges of a supernatural mystery taking place right beneath our noses." The review from Crime Fiction Lover stated, "This collection is brilliantly done, but will leave you hungry for more."

Fatale is published by Image Comics. There is a brief preview from Amazon here. Because of some sex, violence, and language, I would recommend this book for more mature readers.

No comments:

Post a Comment