Wednesday, 2 July 2014

So I Read Fatale: Pray For Rain

A 250 word (or less) review of Fatale: Volume 4
by Ed Brubaker, Sean Philips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser; Image Comics

Fatale: Pray for Rain continues the story of Jo, an immortal woman cursed to be the literal femme fatale with the power to control and captivate the men around her at the cost of driving them to madness and ruin. The current chapter primarily focuses on her life in the 1990s when an accident leaves her without her memory and sends her crashing into the wreckage of a Seattle Grunge band in the aftermath of Cobain's suicide. What's cool about Pray for Rain is just how alive it feels: as great as the other chapters of Fatale have been, they've felt like well-crafted stories, while this chapter feels like an anecdote of personal history. It’s easily my favourite chapter in the series so far. Pray for Rain also makes apparent that Fatale, as much as it plays with the idea of the femme fatale as a character archtype in a variety of settings, is also playing with the different genre/types of horror in period appropriate ways. Previous chapters have seen Jo tossed into a 1930s monster horror, 1950s lovecraftian horror, and a 1970s cult/Helter-Skelter horror, while Jo-like characters also appear in a medieval fearsome fairytale and a scary American western yarn. This chapter sees Jo right in the middle of a 90s slasher film in the very 90s milieu of urban Seattle. Fatale: Pray for Rain really cements for me what a smart, engaging comic the series is and why everyone really should be reading it.

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