Monday, February 24, 2014

Fatale Volume 4: Pray for Rain

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips

            Fatale is nearing its end, and the story isn’t necessarily coming together as more than a series of stories about Josephine.  And somehow, it doesn’t matter.  The simple concept of Josephine being cursed to make guys unnaturally attracted to her keeps finding new and interesting territory to explore, and Volume 4 takes another decade leap and another twist on it.
            After the previous volume of one-shots, Pray for Rain is another full story of Josephine, this time in 90s Seattle, right in the middle of the grunge scene.  She shows up on the doorsteps of the band Amsterdam, who had a one-hit wonder before their songwriter went insane, and now they have to rob banks to survive.  And of course, everybody becomes attracted to Josephine as she becomes their muse.  There’s just one problem: she has amnesia, and she doesn’t remember about her curse.
            That simple twist that changes everything.  Up to this point, we’ve seen Josephine guarded, hiding away from people and on the run from the cult that’s trying to find her.  Here, she’s open and free, having sex with whoever she pleases, and it is terrifying.  It shouldn’t be a shock that this volume does not end in sunshine and rainbows, but the violence and depravity that takes place is done so suddenly and so effectively that it just clicks.  As always, Sean Phillips’ art is walking that line between noir and horror, just like this whole comic has been walking that line.  When it’s the simple fact that the band is likely going to tear itself apart over her, it’s tragic.  When you get that reminder that the cult is also after her, it goes straight into horror.

            Hopefully things will start to come together more as Fatale nears its end.  Even if they don’t, Pray for Rain is yet another volume that can be read as a piece of the whole or as a standalone story, and either way, you’re not going to be disappointed. 

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