Saturday, February 7, 2015

[BOOK REVIEW] Fatale: West of Hell Volume 3 by Ed Brubaker

Title:  Fatale:  West of Hell Volume 3

Author:  Ed Brubaker

Artist:  Sean Phillips

Genre:  Horror / Western / Anthology / Supernatural

Year Published:  2013

Year Read: 2/1/2015

Series: Fatale #3

Publisher: Image Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Gory Violence and Strong Language)


After reading the first two volumes of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ awesome horror series “Fatale,” I just have to pick up the third volume of this series “West of Hell” and I found this volume just as enjoyable as the previous two volumes!

What is this story about?

Let us take a break from the adventures of Nicolas Lash and explore the dark secrets that surround the mysterious beautiful woman Josephine in her past adventures before she met Nicolas Lash.  There are a total of four stories in this volume which includes:

The Case of Alfred Ravenscroft
A Lovely Sort of Death
Down the Darkest Trail
Just a Glance Away

Each story details Josephine being in many different situations and is shown as a different person each time; such as being a young woman named Mathilda in 1286 A.D. France, who was accused of being a witch in “A Lovely Sort of Death” and being a young outlaw named Bonnie in 1883 Colorado who encounters a Native American man on her journey in “Down the Darkest Trail.”  Each story also give out brief hints about Josephine’s past and why there are demons going after her after all these years.

What I loved about this story:

Ed Brubaker’s writing: Wow! Ed Brubaker’s writing just continues to amaze me throughout each volume of this fantastic series and I cannot believe that I waited so long to check this series out!  Now, I usually have a love/hate relationship with volumes that only contain short stories that are not connected to each other in any way since I think that they usually slow down the main story line of any graphic novel.  But in this case, I felt that the short stories in this volume really brought in a new creative twist to this series as each story seem to detail Josephine’s life before she met Nicolas Lash and how long she has been living, despite staying young all of those years. Now, I will admit that we still do not know exactly what Josephine is, but I think that this series is taking its time laying out the groundwork in revealing this secret as each volume goes by.  I really loved the way that Ed Brubaker wove out the mystery surrounding Josephine as we still do not know about how she got the ability to mesmerize men and why the devil seems to be after her.  It really makes the story much more interesting and intense to read as I cannot wait to see what kind of creature Josephine really is and whether or not Nicolas Lash will discover Josephine’s secret soon enough.

Sean Phillips’ artwork:  Sean Phillips’ artwork is as usual gorgeous to look at as the characters look truly realistic and I really loved the way that Sean Phillips was able to incorporate the historical aspects of each story as we get to live through the time periods that Josephine appears in, such as seeing what the Old West looked like during the 1880s or what society looked like during the 1950s.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

Anyone who does not like gory violence and strong language should be warned that there is some gory violence that involves people being shot and torn apart and some strong language where they use the “f” word a couple of times, although the language here is not as strong as the previous two volumes.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Fatale: West of Hell Book Three” is a fantastic treat that anyone who is a huge fan of Ed Brubaker’s “Fatale” series will love reading for many years!

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