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Cannonball Read V: Fatale Vol. 1: Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

By Malin | Book Reviews | August 27, 2013 | Comments ()


(Malin, the winner of this year’s Cannonball Read is also is the first person to achieve a Double Cannonball. To commemorate this achievement, we present her 104th review. Huzzah, Malin, huzzah! — mswas)

Nicholas Lash meets a stunning young woman at his godfather’s funeral. Soon there are black clad gunmen after him, and the beautiful woman rescues him and drags him along on a high speed car chase. There is clearly more to her than meets the eye.

Josephine, the beautiful woman, is seemingly ageless, and in flashback we are told how she first met Dominic Raines, Nicholas’ godfather, back in the 1940s and more about her mysterious and dangerous past. Every man who meets Jo seems to fall completely under her spell. Why doesn’t she age? What was her connection to Raines, and why have sinister gunmen chased her through the ages?

Fatale, Book 1: Death Chases Me starts as a noir, but clearly has Lovecraftian influences, in a story involving dark forces, sinister rituals, corrupt cops, starry-eyed reporters, car chases, gun fights, murder, mystery and mayhem. The story is brilliantly told by Ed Brubaker, and wonderfully and very appropriately illustrated by Sean Phillips. Jo is a true femme fatale, and unwittingly brings despair and destruction to any man who falls under her spell. This first trade collects the first five issues, and while the story continues in the next volume, it can be read as a satisfying story in and of itself. Of all the comics I bought during my Chicago vacation, this is the one I’m so far the most certain that I will continue reading. Brubaker writes amazing mystery and suspense, and I can’t wait to see how the story develops further.

With this, I complete my double Cannonball, 3 months earlier than I managed it last year. I’m still unsure if I want to attempt the monumental triple Cannonball, only ever completed by one participant, as far as I recall. Still, with four weeks left of my summer vacation, and several long plane journeys ahead of me, I’m not going to rule it out.

This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read V. Read all about it, and for more of Malin’s reviews, check out Malin’s Blog of Books

(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the amazon.com affiliate links
in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • space_oddity

    All of Brubaker and Phillips' comics are worth seeking out. They're also worth seeking out in single issues, if you are able - each issue usually has an essay about some pulp or noir trope or character, and they aren't reprinted in the trade collections.

  • Malin

    I am forced to post and defend Jennifer K's honour, she was totally the first to reach 52, and the winner of this year's Cannonball (I was first last year, when she was taking it relatively easy).

  • jennp421

    Thanks for the defense!

  • mswas

    OMG! I am so terribly sorry, and obviously a terrible moderator for having gotten that wrong. I guess I wanted to give Malin some extra props on her BIRTHDAY!

  • That dude better wake up and check see where those tentacles are going before he finds himself being treated like a Japanese schoolgirl.

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