Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ recently wrapped up their Image Comics series, Fatale, with its 24th issue. The team has been collaborating on crime stories over the past few years, each one significantly unique from the other, but all carry the same stamp of quality you would hope from the two. Fatale is no different. It starts off with a woman named Josephine who is linked to a series of mysterious events over the span of nearly century where an ancient cult is pursuing her in hopes of summoning something evil beyond measure. Fatale may seems like a series for those that favor classic crime stories, but here are some reasons why this comic should be on everyone’s reading list!

Completion and Closure

Who doesn’t love a good binge read during their time off? It gives you the ability to sit down and experience the story at full force. You’ll definitely experience a few good shocks along the way. Like all the endings you would hope for, Fatale seals it’s story with a great finale that wraps up the crazy journey you’ve just read through. Plus for those who love having more books to fill the shelf, let alone ones with beautiful artwork, look no further.

The Perfect Mix of Noir and Mythology

What can you throw into a classic grim mystery to make it even more interesting? Lovecraft.

You won’t see the full power of Cthulhu, marching through the panels, but Brubaker and Phillips take those elements and strategically apply them to a more realistic, historical setting. These two themes blend so well, enhancing the already dark setting with that of sheer ancient terror. What’s scarier that any monster?…Knowing that they’re among us, and you don’t even know it.

Intellectual Horror & High Suspense

The horror doesn’t just come from the Phillip’s art that surprises you at a perfectly timed panel or the occasional jaw dropping gore, it’s the story that chases you relentlessly and provides that feeling of creeping unease. Brubaker and Phillips create this fantastic atmosphere that builds such great tension. It’s quite the page turner. Also, who isn’t scared of a Lovecraftian-worshiping murderous cult?

Time Jumping Period Piece

Josephine’s story takes place in the 1930s on through WWII, then the 1950s to the 1990s, all the way to the present. In the Vol. 3: West of Hell trade which collects Issues 11-14, tells the stories of Mathilda from 13th century France and “Black” Bonnie from the Old West. All three females are linked together by men pursuing them, and the vastness of time purely adds to the cosmic, almost ethereal feeling that Fatale carries so well.

The Femme Fatale Moves Above the Trope

Our main character Josephine is a tough nut to crack. Like the classic Femme Fatale, Jo’s relationships with men are deadly ones, but unlike the devious female archetype, her male-alluring power is one that she actually can’t control. Sure, that opens up to naive men trying to save Jo from the evils that plague her, but at the end of the day, she is the ultimate source of power. Everyone around her is a tool to use, but that doesn’t mean she can’t feel the consequences of her actions. Seeing her suffer through regrets and triumphs make her this well-rounded, complex anti-hero who is simply too hard not to love.

You’ll Ultimately Feel More Cultured After It’s Over

You’re not only get the writing power of Ed Brubaker who is a fantastic storyteller, but also the classic art by Sean Phillips and David Stewart’s beautiful coloring. This is obviously not a casual read that ensues laughter and turns your brain off. There’s enough of that in the media already. Fatale is a deep, well-thought out piece that transcends the typical noir genre and layers it with a unique supernatural complexity. It has suspense, drama, horror, crime, murder, and sex, and still the entire experience of Fatale is a treat for those who like to get the gears in their noggin moving.


If you’re interested in reading Fatale, you can find it at your local comic book shop or Comixology.


Brubaker and Phillips have also worked previously on Incognito and Criminal. With the ending of Fatale, they’re back at it with their new Hollywood Noir called the Fade Out which is out in stores on August 20, 2014!

Written By

Jamie Rosales

Jamie Rosales graduated with a Bachelor's in TV/Film Studies. Aside from writing and doodling, she enjoys Norah Jones songs, mozzarella sticks, and the Cornetto Trilogy.