Malin’s #CBR5 Review #104: Fatale, vol 1: Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Nicholas Lash meets a stunning young woman at his godfather’s funeral. Soon there are black clad gunmen after him, and the beautiful woman rescues him and drags him along on a high speed car chase. There is clearly more to her than meets the eye.

Josephine, the beautiful woman, is seemingly ageless, and in flashback we are told how she first met Dominic Raines, Nicholas’ godfather, back in the 1940s and more about her mysterious and dangerous past. Every man who meets Jo seems to fall completely under her spell. Why doesn’t she age? What was her connection to Raines, and why have sinister gunmen chased her through the ages?

The comic starts as a noir, but clearly has Lovecraftian influences, in a story involving dark forces, sinister rituals, corrupt cops, starry-eyed reporters, car chases, gun fights, murder, mystery and mayhem. The story is brilliantly told by Ed Brubaker, and wonderfully and very appropriately illustrated by Sean Phillips. Jo is a true femme fatale, and unwittingly brings despair and destruction to any man who falls under her spell. This first trade collects the first five issues, and while the story continues in the next volume, it can be read as a satisfying story in and of itself. Of all the comics I bought during my Chicago vacation, this is the one I’m so far the most certain that I will continue reading. Brubaker writes amazing mystery and suspense, and I can’t wait to see how the story develops further.

With this, I complete my double Cannonball, 3 months earlier than I managed it last year. I’m still unsure if I want to attempt the monumental triple Cannonball, only ever completed by one participant, as far as I recall. Still, with four weeks left of my summer vacation, and several long plane journeys ahead of me, I’m not going to rule it out.

Cross-posted on my blog.

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20 thoughts on “Malin’s #CBR5 Review #104: Fatale, vol 1: Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

  1. Congratulations! You definitely kicked it up a notch this month. I’m so glad you got there, because now I can stop even pretending to try to catch up.

    • Thank you. I’m feeling a bit of reading fatigue now myself. It’s not like I’ll stop reading, but I won’t have to feel like I have to blog EVERYTHING.

    • I get seven weeks of summer vacation. I currently have pretty much exactly 3 left before I start working again. It’s pretty much the only benefit to being a teacher, as much of the rest of the year I work evenings and weekends and for pretty much every other vacation, I have piles of correction work that I have to work through. This summer, I first fell ill, so I had nothing to do but read, and then I went to the US, where my friends are busy getting ready to move across the country, so I have to entertain myself. Chosen entertainment – reading!

    • Thank you. Now I may take a few days off reading and just marathon TV instead. I hear this Orphan Black show is what all the cool kids are watching.

      • “But Orphan Black has priority.” As it should. Tatiana Maslany is the most preternaturally talented actress I’ve come across in years. And she’s gorgeous to boot. Her sidekick, Felix, is no slouch either. I want him as a friend.

  2. Way to dash my hopes of being the first to reach the double cannonball. And probably of ending the year on top of the leaderboard. Though I am going to make a serious push for the triple cannonball myself, only being four away from the double cannonball at the moment. Well, once I get my next three reviews up, that is.

    But anyway, congrats on besting me, and expect a race to the finish line!

    • Thanks. I should propably thank you, actually. If you hadn’t provided such fierce competition for the double Cannonball (and if I hadn’t had pretty much nothing to do but read for the last three weeks), I would never have finished my double Cannonball this early in the year. I’m not going to fight you for the triple Cannonball, I’m currently extremely sick of book blogging. If you want to be the first to 156, have at it and have fun. You might try to avoid authors you dislike though, it can’t be fun to read that many books you dislike just to win a race. If I even do triple Cannonball, you can be sure it’s going to be only with books I really want to be reading or think I’m going to enjoy.

      • I try to strike a balance between being open-minded and tailoring my reading to what I expect I’ll like. So for every book I read by authors like Neil Gaiman and David Levithan, whose work is rather contentious for me as you can tell, I mix in a lot from my favorites (Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, etc.). And even with Neil Gaiman, for instance, I only bothered with The Ocean at the End of the Lane because a) it was short and b) I thought he might surprise me. It’s rare that I read a book out of any sort of perceived obligation, whether it be to read, read, read, or another reason, such as the need for completion (which is part of why I’m pushing through The Sandman series, despite it being hit-or-miss for me).

        On top of all that, if I can tell early on that it’ll be an especially tough slog, like with NOS4A2, Infinite Jest, etc. I usually choose not to bother and move onto something else. I do finish my fair share of books that just aren’t doing it for me, but that’s because they’re somehow readable in spite of what I think of them. Terry Pratchett’s a good example of this. Even when I don’t like a book of his, it’s a quick and easy read.

        Anywho, good luck with the rest of your cannonball. I hope it’ll be fun, and I’ll do my best to make sure mine’s the same.

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