Comic Reviews: Fatale and Action Comics!
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips latest collaboration is Fatale, another crime noir, except this time with a very strange H.P. Lovecraft-type twist. Much like Criminal and Incognito, the story has some average joe type beat cops, gangsters and lowlifes, and of course, a femme fatale.
The femme fatale in question is Josephine, who may or may not be immortal (hint: she probably/most definitely is). She meets a man named Nicky Lash at his godfathers funeral, and sets in motion the story of the series, set in 1956. Reporter Hank Raines, lash’s deceased godfather from the present day prologue, is meeting with Josephine in a bar to discuss a story he’s investigating involving crooked cops. At the same time, there have been a string of murders, all with strange, occult-like set ups. Bodies hang upside down, heads are removed from bodies, and guts strewn about the floors. Sean Phillips’ depictions of these grotesque acts is pretty stomach churning, but at the same time are so well drawn that you can’t look away from them.
Just as beautiful (but not in any way as grotesque) is Phillips’ rendition of Josephine. She has that striking beauty found in those “old Hollywood” movies, and in some panels bares a striking resemblance to Jennifer Connelly in The Rocketeer. Brubaker does a fantastic job with giving us just enough information about Josephine to keep us interested, but no so much that we don’t feel the need to keep reading. There is one full page splash involving Josephine, Nazis, and a tentacle-head demon thing that asks so many questions that it’s impossible to not want to know what happens next.
Fatale is a fantastic debut issue, and looks to be the start of another amazing series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Anyone looking for something new to test out, or is like me and trade waited on Incognito after you heard about the hype, then you need to give this guy a shot. Just don’t be surprised if you feel a little creeped out by it after reading.
Action Comics #5
The latest issue of Action Comics is a tricky one. It doesn’t address any of the cliffhangers from the previous issue, and also presents yet another take on the Man Of Steel’s origin. The issue also falls into Morrison’s current habit of having you fill in the gaps between panels. However, I still enjoyed the issue. I can’t explain it. Maybe I’m starting to understand Morrison’s new found love of making you work for the story? Or was it just that the art by Andy Kubert was so good? (It is by the way).
Like most nerds (and even non-nerds) I can recite the origin of Superman by heart, and yet while Morrison keeps it largely the same, there are enough tweaks to make it interesting. I really enjoyed the openings and endings to this issue, even if I have no idea who the other people standing with Superman are supposed to be. I think maybe they’re the Legion Of Superheroes? Maybe?
Regardless, Action Comics continues to be a solid book, and one of the standouts of the new 52. It’s well worth your time, and is leaps and bounds over Superman.