A 250 word (or less) review of the third Fatale collection
By Ed Brubaker, Sean Philips, Elizabeth Breitweiser, and Dave Stewart
Fatale is Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips excellent Lovecraftain
Horror, Noir Crime comic about Josephine, a woman cursed to be a literal femme
fatale. Jo has been gifted with seemingly eternal youth and the ability to
influence the men around her, but with the price that she eventually drives the
majority of them insane and inevitably brings them to ruin. The core story of
the series is a sort of crime comic about Jo's relationship to Nick Lash, a
young man with a family history tied to Jo and knotted with her curse. West of
Hell shifts the focus away from this main story and instead shows us some of
Jo's backstory as well as tales of other women afflicted with her curse.
Basically, it is really gripping background for the series that reveals some of
the mysterious forces in play. But beyond that, West of Hell dose some really
neat things with its core concepts. Fatale is, as much as anything, a
meditation and exploration of the archetypical character of the femme fatale.
By setting its chapters in different settings: a traditional Lovecraftian horror
story, a medieval witch/fairy tale, a western, and a war story; West of Hell displays
how the femme fatale and heroines in general function within genre fiction. And
beyond that, the comic shows how character tropes can transfer between
subgenres and function in different milieus. Fatale: West of Hell is pretty
damn clever and a great collection of comics.