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Fatale (Comic Book Series)

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Cover for Issue #1 of Fatale by Sean Phillips
Publication information
Publisher Image Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Genre Crime
Publication date January 2012 – July 2014
Number of issues 24
Creative team
Writer(s) Ed Brubaker
Artist(s) Sean Phillips
Colorist(s) David Stewart
Creator(s) Ed Brubaker
Sean Phillips
Collected editions
Death Chases Me ISBN 1607065630
The Devil's Business ISBN 1607066181
West of Hell ISBN 1607067439
Pray for Rain ISBN 1607068354
Curse the Demon ISBN 1632150077

For other uses of the word Succubus, see Succubus (disambiguation).

Fatale is a supernatural noir comic book created by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, published by Image Comics starting from 2012. The series was initially announced as a twelve-issue maxi-series but was upgraded to an ongoing title in November 2012.[1]

The main character of the series, Josephine, has aspects of a Succubus in her powers and nature, though she is not one.


Fatale chronicles the life of Josephine, or "Jo", an archetypal femme fatale who is seemingly immortal, having survived from the 1930s to the modern day unaged, and also has a supernatural ability to hypnotize men into becoming intensely infatuated with her, whether she wants them to be or not.

Through the decades, Jo struggles to understand and control her powers while being pursued by a violent cult. The cult worships cosmic gods reminiscent of Lovecraftian horrors, which are somehow tied to Jo.

During her travels, Jo also encounters many men who quickly become entranced by her, often to fanatical degrees. They become entangled in her escapades, possibly as guardians, collaborators, and lovers. A motif of the series is how these men pay dearly for becoming involved with Jo.

The narrative jumps back and forth between different time periods and points of view, primarily Jo and the men entranced by her. The majority of the action in the first storyarc takes place in the 1950s, the second in the 1970s, the third during the 1930s and World War II, while the fourth arc is set in the 1990s.

A couple issues featured stand-alone stories focused on "fatales" before Jo. Issue #12 tells the story of Mathilda in 13th century France, while Issue #13 tells the story of "Black" Bonnie in the Wild West. Aside from her powers, both women also shared striking physical similarities with Jo and found themselves pursued by the same cult.

Publication History

The series was originally announced in the back of the final issue of Brubaker and Phillips' previous collaboration, Criminal: Last of the Innocent.[2] Further details about the series, including its publisher, were revealed at the 2011 New York Comic Con.[3] Brubaker also released a video teaser for the series.[4]

The series began publishing monthly in January 2012.

At Image Expo 2014 it was announced that Fatale will end with issue #24.[5]

Several issues featured an article written by Jess Nevins and others on the crime/noir characters, both fictional and real. #1 is an article on H.P. Lovecraft, #2 on Edgar Allan Poe, #3 on Dan J. Marlowe by Charles Kelley, #4 on Philip Marlowe by Stephen Blackmoore, #6 on Horror & Mystery Fiction Pt 1: Otranto to Jules de Grandin, #10 Devil Pulp, #12 Devil Doll by Megan Abbott, #13 Strange Stories by Jack Pendarvis, #15 Aleister Crowley.

Collected Editions

# Title Publisher Year ISBN Reprints
1 Death Chases me Image 2012 ISBN X Fatale #1-5
2 The Devil's Business Image 2013 ISBN X Fatale #6-10
3 West of Hell Image 2013 ISBN X Fatale #11-14
4 Pray For Rain Image 2014 ISBN X Fatale #15-19
5 Curse the Demon Image 2014 ISBN X Fatale #20-24

The first ten issues were also collected into a deluxe hardcover edition, it includes behind-the-scenes art and stories, sketches and layouts, back page illustrations, and several of Jess Nevins' historical essays.

Critical Reception

The first issue sold well enough to return to press four times.[6] Reviews for the series were mostly positive with comparisons to the creative team's previous work on Sleeper, Criminal, and Incognito.[7][8][9]

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips received multiple 2013 Eisner Awards nominations for Fatale: "Best Continuing Series" (Brubaker and Phillips), "Best New Series"(Brubaker and Phillips), "Best Writer" (Brubaker), "Best Penciller/Inker" (Phillips), and "Best Cover Artist" (Phillips).[10]

David Stewart received a 2013 Eisner award for "Best Coloring".[11]


  1. Brothers, David, "The Ed Brubaker 'Captain America' Exit Interview", www.comicsalliance.com, 01 November 2012
  2. Criminal vol 4 #4
  3. Harper, David, NYCC Updated Brubaker Phillips roll out Fatale at Image, www.multiveritycomics.com, 14 October 2011, retrieved 26 June 2012
  4. Harper, David, "NYCC: The Trailer to Brubaker and Phillips’ "Fatale" Revealed", www.multiversitycomics.com, 15 October 2011, retrieved 26 June 2012
  5. Ching, Albert IMAGE EXPO: Keynote Announces New Series From Snyder, Morrison, Remender & More, Comic Book Resources, 9 January 2014
  6. Ed Brubaker's Fatale gets a fifth printing, www.comicbook.com
  7. Richardson, Walt, Review: Fatale #1, www.multiversitycomics.com, 5 January 2012, retrieved 26 June 2012
  8. Fatale #1 review, www.comicbookresources.com, retrieved 26 June 2012
  9. Fatale Mixes Crime and Horror in a Monstrously Good Comic, www.comicsalliance.com
  10. "Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees 2013". San Diego ComicCon International. http://www.comic-con.org/awards/will-eisner-comic-industry-award-nominees-2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  11. Newsarama Staff. "2013 EISNER Awards Winners (Full List)". Newsarama. http://www.newsarama.com/18436-2013-eisner-awards-winners-full-list.html. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 

External Links