“Fatale” Attraction|Ed Brubaker|Sean Phillips|Image Comics

November 20th, 20130 Comments »

The ongoing series “Fatale” by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.  Is about as a dark as it gets.  Emphasis on Elizabeth Breitweiser’s brilliant color work.  I don’t want to talk too much about the story.  I’ll let you experience that for yourself.  And believe me, it is an experience unlike any comic book you’ll could possibly read this year.  There’s a good reason the series commanded a second, third, and fourth printing as it was released early on.  (That’s blockbuster for comic books)  That’s not counting the people reading it via torrents and borrowing it from friends As I went to write this I thought, what is “Fatale” actually about, besides the sexy and gut-wrenching noir story telling that Brubaker and Phillips have a reputation for?  One of the overreaching themes of this story is lust. 

Googling the science of lust, I came across an article by @MikaelaConley she had written for an ABC News blog.  According to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Sexual Psychology.  Jim Pfaus, a professor of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal and primary author of the study saw that two parts of the brain which are closely linked were responsible.  They are called the insula and the striatum, two different parts of the brain that respond differently when test subjects were shown images of loved ones and when they were shown images of things like food and erotica.  These are relatively close together and lust seems to be able to develop into The study made a point to mention that the initial lust that is felt in the body and brain can, in fact, develop into a habitual practice of engaging that person, that chemical or that food.  Which then develops into what we think of or know as love.  To protect loved ones or children is an extension of this instinct.  Instincts get men killed over women all the time, and have done so for as long as we can recall.  So these guys go after Jo with the best intentions for their own survival and procreation.

“Lust triggers parts of the brain that control pleasurable feelings, associated with sex and food, but love triggers parts of the brain associated with habits.” – Dr Pfaus.

Lust seems obsessive, paranoid, and primal.  And a bit like black magic.  This isn’t too far from the truth.  The darker elements of the occult are abound in the story, chasing the protagonist Josephine through history and horrific human sacrifice.  She never ages a day.  Her dark-haired beauty is like a siren’s call to men.  Irresistible and entrancing, she’s been followed by tragedy time and time again. Lover after foolish lover have met an inevitable end of the road for those who encounter Jo in their fateful, and fatal travels.

There’s the theme of sacrifice.  The men compulsively sacrifice the most ordinary and the most extraordinary things in the name of something they can’t even name themselves.  They feel pulled by an unseen force.  Curiosity, conviction, and carnal pleasure play out uncontrollably.  Like real life lust, the catastrophic consequences that ensue, at least in this story, do not detract men from pursuing Jo past the gates of madness.

I recommend “Fatale” for comic book readers looking for one looking for something more risque, along the lines of crime noir.  Or if you just enjoy an original, beautiful and exciting story one can read with a dark whiskey and cigarette in hand.  Although I don’t condone cigarettes, they are a noir staple.  Don’t worry, it’s just a story.  Sort of.

“Fatale” by IMAGE COMICS






« A Street Fighter II Documentary on YouTube
Saturday Update 12-21-13 »

Categorized Under

Comic Books Image Mainstream Publishers

Post tags

About Jay

Jay was born July 8th 1986 and is an aspiring adult who is versed in several writing styles from poetry to short stories to hip-hop. He holds black belts in two different martial arts but has been self-trained to eat sleep and breathe comics and the people who make them. He started Inside Comic Books to get closer to the people in the comic book industry and find out if they're real or if they're all the result of his hyperactive imagination. He currently resides in Orlando, Florida. The O-Zone, if you will. If you're interested, you can email him at Jay@insidecomicbooks.com

» has written 79 posts

No Comments





  • The CBLDF The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund


  • Flame On! Nerds come in all colors..Flame On! Is a GLBT-friendly Podcast by some really colorful , awesome people.
  • Valiant Comics The podcast from Valiant
  • A Comic Show A weekly, brief podcast about the best new comics that came out this week.
  • The Reasons I'm Broke Gaming, Comic Books.




  • Crossed Comic Taking place in Avatar’s Crossed universe, awesome web comic authored by Simon (Si) Spurrior and Javier Barreno (NSFW)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.