As if things aren’t already in some deep stuff with both Hank Raines and Walter Booker, they appear to be running a parallel course toward our titular Fatale, Jo.
Hank’s wife has been brutally murdered in ways that even the police can stomach. Hank has been held and interrogated by detectives in connection to the crime. They realize that he couldn’t possibly have been the murderer even though he does seem to be up to something they can’t quite put their finger on. Even when the detectives turn on each other with wild accusations that even include some dirty cops and a mobster who had knowledge of some illegal activities within the department, Booker knows that he’s not exactly innocent. He’s made a deal with the devil to give the location of Jo in order to save his own life. As Hank drowns himself with booze, he finally starts piecing together some things about Jo, but when he stumbles out of the sight of a friend taking care of him, he runs afoul of a dirty cop who is going to follow him to his mysterious love’s whereabouts. Fortunately (?) for Hank, the detective runs afoul of some of the cultists who are committing those ghastly murders about town.
One of the greatest things about a story like this is how engrossing it is. This entire issue takes us deeper into the two central men of the past time line – Hank and Walter. Walter’s backstory is revealed a bit as a child who could always see the monsters and other beings that seem to lurk in the shadows. For a while, it made him a fantastic man, but over time, it broke him down realizing how small he truly was. For Hank, things can’t quite get any worse. Hank’s wife and unborn child have been slain. He’s still deeply intoxicated by Jo and he’s spinning out of control quickly. We can really see the connection between these two men and Jo and how much control she has over them even if she doesn’t truly mean them any harm. It’s almost as if a slight glimmer from her has blotted out all other reason in their minds. Booker may be a little better at dealing with this, but he’s still haunted by her and willing to let her go even if it means his life will be forfeit. We get to know much more about Booker and his understanding of just about every level of the world (physical and metaphysical). Even Hank seems to have finally had a light come about Jo but what that is exactly was interrupted.
Without a doubt, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ dark tale of monsters, cops both dirty and clean, hapless men enslaved by the love of a truly mysterious woman, and murder is one of the finest books on the shelves. It pulls you in and sticks with you after reading it, and it’s a wonderfully sculpted story that gives you enough to think about while still left in the dark. No matter what, you want to come back for more each and every month. You want to know everything there is to know about Josephine, but couldn’t be happier than to have the story play out in this pacing. You don’t want this to rush. Instead, you want to settle into this world and live there for a while even if those monsters and murderous cultists are waiting to pounce on you at every turn.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Beautifully drawn, and well crafted story. You can’t help but to fall in love, not with Jo, but with the story and this truly messed up world these characters inhabit.||None.|
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