The end is nigh for Fatale, but even with these last few issues, Ed Brubaker is still creating more and more mysteries. When the answers finally come, it’s going to be amazing.
Brubaker kicks things off here with an awesome dream sequence inside Nicolas Lash’s head, that Sean Phillips just draws the hell out of, especially when combined with Elizabeth Breitweiser going full-on pop-art with her colours. Phillips is an artist that is normally very down to earth and ‘real’, which makes his flights into the more supernatural all the more effective. That’s why this whole series has worked so well.
Nic wakes up in a strange house, full of weird occult books. He has been put here by Jo to keep him safe and away from anyone who might be looking for them. It turns out that this house belongs to a man named Otto, who is something of an expert in the occult, and is, somehow, immune to Jo’s powers. The reason behind his immunity seems to be the tattoos that cover his entire body, and apparently he’s had them all since birth. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a descendant of the woman who befriended Jo in the Cowboy issue. Jo has even gone so far as to tattoo something onto the bottom of Nic’s foot, but that’s a different deal.
Nic spends a few weeks trapped in the house, as Jo comes and goes, until she tells him to accompany him to a party. They get all dressed-up, and it’s a creepy rich-person sex party. If you ever wanted to see Sean Phillips draw a blowjob, this is the comic for you. Jo is there to retrieve an item from someone, but he’s not very cooperative. I love how Brubaker stopped to show the toll Jo’s magic has, and how badly it can break the brain of someone when they realise they can’t have her. This man attacks her, but luckily Nic is there to beat him to death with an ornament. Jo retrieves the mysterious object, and the two of them flee the scene. It looks like the reason Nic was there was so Jo could complete some kind of ritual, she needed him to kill for her. Man, this issue took a dark turn, all throughout this series I’ve viewed Jo as a fundamentally good person trapped in a bad situation, but what if she’s just as bad as the villains? She is the Femme Fatale after all, and that character’s motivations are always shady.
Speaking of the other villains, the object Jo needed was of course Bishop’s eyeballs, but her retrieval of them wakes him up, he could see her through them! There are only 3 issues left, and man, it’s going to be good, I can tell. This issue pulled on elements from all of the previous stories and brought them together.
I know a lot of people haven’t enjoyed this book as much as Criminal or Incognito, but when all is said and done, I think this is equal to those books. Until The Fade Out comes along and blows them all away of course!