Josephine is reunited with old terrors. - colten97
The second story arc of Fatale has required a bit of an adjustment, given that so many of the previous arc's main cast are either dead or out of the picture. But the signature femme fatale Josephine is still vary much a part of Ed Brubaker's dark saga. More pieces fall into place in issue #7 in what is just one more memorable installment of a truly great horror noir.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of new protagonist Miles in issue #6, but Brubaker does enough with the character this month to win over readers. Miles is every bit as flawed as Hank Raines was, as well as equally captivated by the alluring Josephine. All Miles really lacks at the moment is a tangible connection to present day protagonist Nicholas Lash. On the other hand, I do like that the script is no longer divided among two male figures in the past, as it was with Hank and Detective Booker in the first arc. So far, this storyline is feeling a bit more focused and purposeful, particularly now that so much of the groundwork has been laid.
Another area in which this arc has improved is in providing Josephine with a more direct, active role in the conflict and a generally more sympathetic portrayal. She may be the femme fatale, but her desire for that elusive sense of peace and her mounting terror as old enemies come back to haunt her in this issue are easily identifiable. If Josephine is going to be the common factor among all story arcs and time periods, this treatment should pay off.
None of Brubaker's noir-infused books would be what they are without the moody artwork of Sean Phillips. Phillips has been in top form from the very beginning of this series. His intricately defined figures, heavy shadows, and striking backgrounds are all present, but now tinged with a distinctly creepy and even more foreboding tone. Dave Stewart's colors are generally subdued but always put to effective use.
You can't go wrong with a Brubaker/Phillips collaboration. Even so, Fatale is making a strong case for being the best of their projects. It combines all the familiar elements with a new and distinctly original horror slant.