Page 45 Review by Stephen
The FATALE finale!
Now this is what I call a cover!
Care to look away? You can't!
Thematically, it hones in on everything this book is about: passion and horror and the latest in a long line of men in thrall to a woman who cannot help herself, knowing he is in thrall yet willingly, ecstatically abandoning himself to her. Their soft bodies yield to each other, Josephine's on top. All the while the world is being watched for any and all signs of their activity - of Josephine's in particular - and those awful, burning eyes are staring directly into yours!
The colours are far from obvious, their thrillingly unnatural hues glowing all the stronger for being framed in a crisp, pure white. Combined with the logo, it is a design masterpiece and - haha! - how fortunate are we that Page 45's shelves are black!
I promise you are in for a Sean Phillips surprise.
Oh, the majority of this volume is executed with the same shadow-intense, deeply troubling twilight you have come to expect, and the same rigorous discipline when it comes to the strict, tiered storytelling. But its climax is exactly that: an orgy of colour and composition as the barriers are broken, the walls between them collapse and all secrets are finally surrendered.
And it is at this precise moment that the most profound tragedy of Josephine's curse is revealed. Her curse is that almost all men spending any length of time in her company will lose their hearts to Josephine and become emotionally and erotically obsessed. It's a tragedy I never saw coming.
There's even more to look forward to: architectural flourishes like San Francisco, 1906, and Otto's library.
It is, however, the final two pages after such a long journey that are the belters. That face and that mouth and the far-away look in those eyes
For far, far more on FATALE - on Ed Brubaker's craft as well as Sean Phillips' - please see our extensive reviews of the preceding volumes including the FATALE VOL 1 DELUXE H/C where I adapted my original review of its constituent softcovers to better reflect my seemingly spontaneous shop-floor show-and-tells.