Book Review: Fatale Volume 1: Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Fatale Volume 1: Death Chases Me, written by Ed Brubaker with artwork by Sean Phillips, is collection of the first five issues of the comic. This graphic novel has a taste of classic noir style mystery, with a darker Lovecraft like flavor thrown in. the story begins with Nicolas Lash executing the estate of his father's friend Hank. Along with the inheritance comes a mysterious woman, Josephine, whom he becomes obsessed with. As Nicolas spirals into obsession, readers witness Jo looking unchanged in the 1950's. She is on a quest for something, and destroys the lives she touches in the process. Some of those lives destroyed include those of the recently deceased Hank, Hank's wife, and a mobster. the mystery does not just lie with Jo and her quest, but also in solving the mystery behind a grizzly cult's actions and how Jo and the mobster are tied together.

Death Chases Me works both as a mystery and a Lovecraftian horror story. the story starts feeling very much like classic noir, shapely lady stinking of trouble appears on the scene, and she is more than she seems. while all that is true here, Death Chases Me takes readers on an unexpected jaunt through less expected waters as we discover Jo is far beyond our wildest expectations. Nicolas and Hank share some common factors, like knowing Jo is trouble and not being able to resist her allure, even in light of their own better judgement. The time changes between modern day with Nicolas, and the 1950s with hank and his storyline, are well done. However, I will admit to getting characters confused a couple times, but I was also reading a digital copy on a small screen rather than a full sized paper copy. I do think that some of the similarities are purposeful, but the differences are enough that most readers will not have any problem.

Death Chases Me is a good choice for graphic novel readers looking for something new. The artwork is extremely well done, as is the coloring. the story is fascinating and will hook most readers. the complete blend of mystery and horror is done in a way that can easily grip readers of both genre, even if they generally dislike the other. Older teens might enjoy the novel as well, but there are definitely adult situations and horror involved so approach with caution.
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