Fatale #9 Review

Is the latest chapter in this noir saga still treading new ground or is it playing it safe?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Image:

FATALE’s second arc “The Devil’s Business” rushes toward its savage conclusion, as Jo comes out of hiding, ready to confront the reborn Bishop as his cultists creep around 1970s Hollywood searching for her and her new lover…

And remember each issue of FATALE contains extra content, articles and artwork that are not available anywhere but the printed single issues.

Twists and turns abound, as this stellar series plays it somewhat safe as it holds close to genre tropes in order to explore and exploit its complex narrative.  From a car ride in the beginning to the desperate actions of our protagonist, the world of Fatale is ripe with conflict and intrigue.  It literally pumps quite lively with tender juices that highlight the struggles that our main cast endures as they attempt to deal with the Method Church and its crazy followers.

Ed Brubaker takes the lead characters and slowly but surely puts them through the proverbial ringer in this latest jaunt in a metropolitan jungle.  Death, destruction, drugs and manipulation are rampant as a steady hand guides all the players along this rather sordid chess board.  The only minor gripe I have is the pace, yes it’s slow, and it follows the method and workings of the genre it emulates but there are times where the audience suffers from some elongated and rather disappointing scenes that just don’t amount to much.

Sean Phillips does a superb job on the art in this engaging outing.  His pencil strokes give birth to dense and slender lines that perfectly illustrate the hyper-real world of 1970s Hollywood.  From the violence to the scars it leaves behind, all the necessary details are called into action to give the script the support it requires.  The end result is a beautifully realized vision that perfectly suits the inner-workings of this dynamic tale.

Fatale #9 is another fantastic issue that propels this series forward while doing little more than maintaining the established level of quality, and trust me when I tell you that’s a good thing.  Recommended.

4/5

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