"GUYS! YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK IT IS PRETTY GOOD!" Of the Week:
"Fatale" Number One by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
These two creators, writer Brubaker and artist Phillips, have been working together on one project or another for more than 10 years now and, sadly, I've only read a little of what they've produced but what I've read I've liked.
"Fatale" is a mix of crime noir and Lovecraftian horror. It starts at a funeral in the rain where the godson of the deceased meets a mysterious woman. After some excitement -- men with guns and a car chase involving a plane -- the story goes into the first chapter that takes place a few years after World War II.
It's only the first issue so there's a lot of set-up going on but it was more than enough to make me want to pick up the next 11 issues.
"Fatale" has the beautiful, moody art of Sean Phillips, mysterious men in black and a cult that involves the Nazis.
One bonus you get for buying the issue physically when it comes out instead of waiting for the trade or reading it digitally is an essay by Jess Nevins about H.P. Lovecraft. That and an extra illustration won't be showing up in the eventual collected version of "Fatale," which is an extra incentive to buy it as it comes out.
If you want to check out more from Brubaker and Phillips, and I think you should, I would recommend their "Criminal" series.
I've read the first three trade paperbacks when they were collected together in one hardcover. Those are all crime comics that are noirish and realistic. You could also check out "Incognito" for something that tends a little more to the superhero set. It's the story of a mostly-reformed supervillain who is in a witness relocation program when it starts.
COMIC WITH THE BEST COVER OF THIS WEEK:
"Action Comics #5" by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, back-up by Sholly Fisch and Chrisscross
The cover I'm talking about, and you can see it in the gallery, is actually the variant cover for this issue, drawn by Rags Morales.
That sense of fun on the cover showing Superman playing catch with Krypto is something that I feel has been missing from DC Comics for a while.
As for the issue, this is the all new origin of Superman but told this time from the perspective of the ship that took the baby Kal-El from doomed Krypton. Everybody knows the story about the two desperate scientists sending their infant son to Earth and how he was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent.
The issue ends with Superman and members of the Legion of Superheroes observing the ship being stolen by the Anti-Superman Army and it's up to them to take it back or Earth is doomed. That makes for a pretty good cliffhanger.
Personally, my favorite Superman origin is "Superman: Birthright" by Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu. With 12 issues in the mini-series, Waid was really able to delve into who Clark Kent is and why he chooses to become Superman.
One issue of the story dealt almost exclusively with Clark and his parents coming up with his 'secret identity' and how to make it work while in a room full of reporters.
What was best with "Superman: Birthright," which is also in this new "Action Comics," is that there's no moping Superman or Clark whining about how he wishes he could be normal.
Birthright's Clark uses his powers and likes it. There's never any doubt about him using them to help people in some way. I guess I just got sick of that overused cliché when I watched Smallville.
So Now What?
Now that you've got a list of comics to read, I guess you should head down to and pick up something. I mean, really, why wouldn't you want to read some good comics?
When I go there again next week for new comics I'll be picking up:
- "All New Batman The Brave and the Bold #15"
- "Batgirl #5"
- "Batman and Robin #5"
- (and so should you)
- "Demon Knights #5"
- "Green Lantern #5"
- "Mister Terrific #5"
- "Ray #2"
- "Superboy #5"
And possibly anything else that catches my eye.
As always, feel free to leave a comment or contact me on Twitter if you have any comic book or superhero related inquiries. I can be found @BJDowd on Twitter.