A beautiful dame is in a bit of bad business and you can’t just give her the brush off. One look at those big green eyes and you know you have no choice but to help her. You’d sooner croak than leave her side. Suddenly a stiff wind blows and you get a chill down your back. Spooked, you know not everything is what it seems, and with Ed Brubaker’s Fatale nothing is what it seems.

Fatale may seem like your average crime drama at first glance, but upon reading more you’ll find yourself immersed in an eerie tale of romance and the supernatural. The story follows journalistic investigator Hank through the seedy under belly of 1950’s San Francisco while he tries to take down crooked cops. What he finds makes the corrupt police force look like harmless kittens.

Brubaker is no rookie when it comes to crime dramas, in fact that’s most of what he writes. His ongoing series Criminal has won a 2007 Eisener Award for Best New Comic and he knows how to play off the clichés of the genre. Like Criminal, Fatale is full of clichés and archetypes which work to the comic’s advantage. Every character plays a very stereo-typical role, but just when you think you have them figured out everything changes.

One of my absolute favourite things about Fatale is the art. Hellblazer artist Sean Phillips has been working alongside Brubaker on many projects and his dark, stylized art works perfectly with the noir genre. He even did a four page graphic novel for the Criterion Collection release of film noir, Blast of Silence.

So if film noir or Lovecraftian tales of terror are up your alley I highly suggest you check out Fatale which just came out in trade paperback and is also available for purchase in comic form. This comic will haunt you, but I promise you’ll love every second of it.

Happy nightmares,