Comic Vine Review

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Fatale #18

4

Jo's put a spell on you. And now you're hers.

The Good

This issue is all about consequences; no act occurs in isolation, whether it's Skip's death, the bank robberies, or the wide-ranging projection of Jo's fatale spell via music video. Jo herself is also experiencing the consequences of her actions, and learning that amnesia isn't such a permanent thing.

Bettie Breitweiser has been consistently delivering with the colors on FATALE, but this issue takes things even further in terms of visual heat. She gets the opportunity to play with more than the usual dim, desaturated gloom of Jo's victims (streaked, of course, with red), and pulls in vibrant yellows and oranges that evoke both the scene-required spotlights and the explosive nature of Jo's spell.

But first, in grey Seattle, we have bleakness to deal with. If there was ever a question of the effectiveness of the fatale trap, it's been answered: Jo sets things in motion with such detail and complexity that there's no way out. Darcy plays the voice of reason, but her protests fall on deaf ears because reason can't work when a situation has been so polluted with chaos. There are no escape hatches, just death and destruction, and more tears from Jo.

The Bad

I can't quite follow what Jo's impact on women is meant to be. In Darcy's case, it's mistrust and antagonism (which makes complete sense, given how Jo has transformed the band), but with the women in the music video, it seems to be something else entirely. Perhaps, as the captions over the video scenes note, it's just a feral response…but how does that explain Darcy's complex and rational aversion to Jo's suspicious presence?

The Verdict

Brubaker and Phillips have done a marvelous job of setting the stage -- literally and figuratively -- for Jo in this arc. Her entanglement with the band has been so much more than another variation on the femme fatale theme; it's groundwork for the revelation of how powerful Jo can be when amplified. Like a compelling song, she does things to people, and given a platform, she does it with exceptional force and magnitude. This issue was an exciting crescendo in an already fascinating arc, and I can't wait to see where things collide in its wake.