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Fatale Deluxe Edition Volume 2 Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, November 24, 2015
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If you are looking at this you probably know the basic story, if you stumbled here by mistake, read the earlier reviews for Volume 1 or the softcover collections (I think there are five). Very briefly the plot concerns an alluring woman; men who cross her path become drawn to her and their lives are pulled inside out - but unlike some melodrama, this is actually a noir suspense horror sci-fi work with Lovecraftian elements. We discover that Josephine's power over men and women who love women is not accidental and is part of an ancient cycle. She is pursued by monsters and their human servants who want to use her as part of a sacrificial rite. I know this sounds all over the place but it very well done, and wonderfully illustrated.
Some may criticize how the principal plot was resolved but the ending seems appropriate. Nearly everyone is on the "the losing side of eternity".
This character study has changed the way I think about femme fatals. Far from the usual stock character, Josephine is a complex individual caught up a cosmic void of unimaginable depravity. This story is completely original, but has some familiarities that will make fans of Lovecraft feel right at home. Volume two was just as hard-hitting as volume one. I would certainly recommend reading the first volume first, but after than, dive into this one right away—while the story is still fresh.
Fatale is a horror story about Josephine, a woman that seems to be immortal and no man can refuse. Whether she wants to or not, the men around her are influenced by her to the point where they will even kill themselves at her command. A mysterious man known as the Bishop is after her for his own purposes. Josephine's stories in this volume are mostly told at different periods during the Twentieth Century, but there are a few earlier stories. She finds allies along the way with mysterious librarians and people who can give themselves tattoos or symbols to make themselves immune to her. There are also her hapless victims. A flailing alternative band in 1990s Seattle, a group of soldiers in Nazi Germany. Her attempts to be rid of the curse of herself seems destined to fail.
Collecting Fatale volumes 3 through 5 and weighing in at over 400 pages, this is a really good collector's edition with lots of the process of creating comics included. There are also reprints of some of the columns included in the single issues that were written by Jess Nevins. His history essays are very good and talk about Aleister Crowley and the H.P. Lovecraft, two big influences on the work here.
Previously, I had read volume 4, and hadn't read previous work in the series. This helped make that volume make sense. Some have said they didn't like how the series ended, but I like it quite fine. As I mentioned, the writing and art is as good as you get in comics these days and the creators make a nod to colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser. Here work here lends itself really well.
I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Diamond Book Distributors, Image Comics, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this fine graphic novel.
Each story tells us how Josephine’s influence ruins the men around her as they seek her out, even after she is the cause of the ruin of their lives.
Yet again, the writing and artwork are clear and well-conceived. Lots of gore and violence and sex but ultimately, along with the storyline, it all gets quite repetitive.
This one has two essays at the end, like the first one did, both by Jess Nevins. This time around the subjects are H.P. Lovecraft, (again), and Aleister Crowley. I found both to be interesting and informative.
In this volume we learn more about where Josephine has been and where she's going and of course there are a few sexy times in between, most especially when she does a video for the rock band Amsterdam. As always happens with Jo, the good times start rolling into dark times at the flick of a switch, and they keep on rolling right down to the depths of hell.
I can't recommend these enough-especially if you enjoy classic tropes turned on their heads and lots of tentacles in your artwork.