So, I 've got a really small stack today, two books: Danger Club #4 and Fatale #8.
Danger Club has been anything but a normal superhero comic book. Imagine if you took the characters from the Lord of the Flies and put them in superhero costumes, that is what Danger Club reminds me of. All the adult superheroes in Danger Club have all died in space (reportedly) and their sidekicks are trying to put the world back together. Kid Vigilante and his crew are desperate to return order through whatever means necessary, but their toll is high. They have already lost numerous members of their group, and their activities are questionable at best, their morals and humanity seemingly slipping away with every horrible act that they have to commit. The sidekicks don't know that the American Spirit (also, the President) has killed their parents (as seen in issue 3), and has plans for them.
I'm missing some plot points with that summary, but you'll have to buy the book for them, bringing us to issue #4. Ivan, a magician of sorts, injects himself with something we've seen him inject the Olympian with in issue #3, which causes him to implode and bleed out everywhere while having visions. The visions are vague and encapsulated in bright golden bubbles. Ivan's visions end in our first shot of the adult heroes, just before they croak it (it appears that way) and Ivan's astral self stabs the hell out of the vision bubble with them in it. There is a lot of foreshadowing going on in this issue, and I can only hope that this pays off big in upcoming issues, because I have no idea what it means.
Meanwhile, Kid Vigilante and Jack Fearless have a conversation about a dead compatriot, and KV is increasingly rabid about his doing what he has to do in order to make the world right. Fearless betrays KV and we get the moment that was foreshadowed in issue #2, which still managed to disturb the hell out of me. Landry Q. Walker is setting up a tangled plot in Danger Club and I have no idea where he is going from here, and that is exciting for me. I am totally going to pick up the next issue just to see where the hell they can go from here.
Eric Jones and Michael Drake, can I just say that you guys are KILLING on Danger Club. Mister Drake, your colors are out of this world. Mister Jones, your storytelling is grand. Keep it up and I'll keep coming back.
Sean Phillips is fast becoming one of my favorite artists, and I don't know why it took so long for me to realize that. I always pick up Brubaker/Phillips joints, but lately I have really been into Phillips figure work, his character work and his storytelling ability. Phillips is top notch, and 6/8 of the reason why I pick up Fatale. Also, Phillips covers on Fatale have been devastatingly good design work, their stark white border mixed with stunning colors and (most often) a singular figure in a dramatic pose.
Scaring someone with static images is a truly hard thing to do. You have to create the right atmosphere, you have to have a buildup, and than you have to deliver some truly creepy shit. Fatale and Rachel Rising (which I reviewed last week) are some of the only comics that have managed to do this to me, and Fatale #8 managed to get a good rise out of me. It was the interlude that did it, first the dream sequence as setup and than a fanged woman beating a man with his prosthetic leg. Sound comical when I write it, but Phillips killed the panels, so you'll just have to trust me on this one.
In all honesty, I have to reread Fatale a couple of times to understand what the fuck was going on in the first arc (already read it two times), but the second arc has been quite enjoyable with the sixties/seventies vibe, the insane snuff film, and the cult. Jo is an interesting character to follow, a mystical woman that is destined to always be the femme fatale, breaking hearts and causing death wherever she goes. Brubaker is setting up a conflict that is sure to end in an explosive way, but it is the getting there that is all the fun. Cult sacrifices, sex...and more. What else could you be looking for in a comic? For more insight into the book listen the Word Balloon's past couple episodes and the Nerdists Writers Panel. Ed details some the evolution of the book and goes into some depth about the characters and their motivations, especially Jo's.
The colors by Dave Stevens are...breath-taking. Steven's palette on this issue is mute and moody, with the odd exception to accentuate blood, gore and mystery. Steven's rendering within Phillips shadowy figures is nothing short of a wonder, his mastery is evident in every panel.
This book has been an interesting read so far and I am interested to see where it goes. Keep up the good work guys.
And with that I am out,