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Fatale: Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1 HC

Ed Brubaker (Author), Sean Phillips (Illustrator)

> Review by Emil J. Novak Sr.

The femme fatale is arguably the key element in any crime noir narrative. From published fiction to film, we love her and we despise her, though we can’t seem to live without her. In this Image Comics tour de force series, creators Brubaker and Phillips, each a master of his craft, once again show us why this creative paring is quite possibly the best sequential comic art team in the last decade. From Brubaker’s hit “Captain America” storyline “The Winter Soldier,” which was adapted to film by Marvel Studios, we already knew this series was going to be exciting. From the first gunshot, we’re drawn into a parable as hard-hitting as any crime fiction classic ever written. Beginning in 1930s Los Angeles and tersely moving to the late 1960s, we meet Josephine, as she is called. This femme fatale is as alluring, sexy and dangerous as any we have ever read, including a fine mix of standard noir pastiches of cigarette-smoking coppers to lurid villains. The ten issues in this volume are loaded high-octane crime and sex, while also mixing many of the finer horror elements of H.P. Lovecraft’s mastery of the “Horror Of The Unseen,” and it’s all brought to light by the dark moody ink pen of Sean Phillips.

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