Fatale (Image Comics)

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Cover for Issue #1 of Fatale by Sean Phillips.
Publication information
PublisherImage Comics
FormatLimited series
Publication dateJanuary 2012 – July 2014
No. of issues24
Creative team
Created byEd Brubaker
Sean Phillips
Written byEd Brubaker
Artist(s)Sean Phillips
Colorist(s)David Stewart
Collected editions
Death Chases MeISBN 1607065630
The Devil's BusinessISBN 1607066181
West of HellISBN 1607067439
Pray for RainISBN 1607068354
Curse the DemonISBN 1632150077

Fatale is a supernatural noir comic book created by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. It was published by Image Comics between January 2012 and July 2014. The series was initially announced as a 12-issue limited series, but it was later extended to 24 issues.

Publication history[edit]

The series was originally announced in the back of the final issue of Brubaker and Phillips' previous collaboration, Criminal: Last of the Innocent.[1] Further details about the series, including its publisher, were revealed at the 2011 New York Comic Con.[2] Brubaker also released a video teaser for the series.[3]

The series began publishing monthly in January 2012. Although initially billed as a twelve-issue series, the length was increased in November 2012.[4] The series concluded after 24 issues.[5]

Several issues featured an article written by Jess Nevins and others on the crime/noir characters, both fictional and real.


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 story arc 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 of 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.

Collected editions[edit]

# Title Publisher Year ISBN Reprints
1 Death Chases Me Image Comics 2012 Fatale #1-5
2 The Devil's Business Image Comics 2013 Fatale #6-10
3 West of Hell Image Comics 2013 Fatale #11-14
4 Pray for Rain Image Comics 2014 Fatale #15-19
5 Curse the Demon Image Comics 2014 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. A second hardcover collected issues 11-24.

Critical reception[edit]

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 Eisner Awards nominations for Fatale in 2013: "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. ^ Criminal vol 4 #4
  2. ^ Harper, David, NYCC Updated Brubaker Phillips roll out Fatale at Image, Multiversity Comics, 14 October 2011, retrieved 26 June 2012
  3. ^ Harper, David, "NYCC: The Trailer to Brubaker and Phillips’ "Fatale" Revealed Archived November 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine", Multiversity Comics, 15 October 2011, retrieved 26 June 2012
  4. ^ Brothers, David, "The Ed Brubaker 'Captain America' Exit Interview Archived 2012-11-04 at the Wayback Machine", Comics Alliance 01 November 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, ComicBook.com
  7. ^ Richardson, Walt, Review: Fatale #1 Archived December 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Multiversity Comics, 5 January 2012, retrieved 26 June 2012
  8. ^ Fatale #1 review, Comic Book Resources, retrieved 26 June 2012
  9. ^ Fatale Mixes Crime and Horror in a Monstrously Good Comic Archived 2012-07-12 at the Wayback Machine, Comics Alliance
  10. ^ "Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees 2013". San Diego ComicCon International. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  11. ^ Newsarama Staff. "2013 EISNER Awards Winners (Full List)". Newsarama. Retrieved 1 December 2013.