Fatale‘s first issue has some extra pages, but not so many it’s totally different from a regular comic. Brubaker does wonders with the pacing. He opens with a modern story, then flashes back into something. It’s unclear if it’s the manuscript the protagonist found or just a flashback.
But in that flashback, Brubaker moves between three characters. So it’s a less than thirty-page comic with four characters and all the time well spent. The pacing’s so great, Fatale being compelling is just a bonus.
The cliffhanger’s a little soft though. It doesn’t have enough impact since the reader has just meant that particular protagonist.
Sean Phillips’s artwork is fantastic, whether it’s the action scenes or the fifties stuff. The fifties art is a lot more static; it’s calm, even though it’s rather violent.
Brubaker and Phillips turn in such a strong, but singular, first issue, Fatale‘s hard to anticipate.
Death Chases Me, Prologue and Chapter One; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Dave Stewart; publisher, Image Comics.
Veitch has his pacing problems back, but his creative side also gets the better of him. Alec fights a giant monster in his astral form. Veitch juxtaposes these already boring fight panels alongside the activities of the supporting cast. The Parliament, apparently, has finally got its act together and Chester’s in line to be the next planet elemental.
Odd how all these people are in the United States. Veitch must have worried about Constantine’s airfare.
The issue plays out pretty well, but this story arc is exhausted. Maybe if Veitch had given the sprout–the soul of the new elemental–a personality, it would work better. But for such an important supporting cast member… well, Linus’s blanket had a lot more personality.
There’s a lot of good art–except that astral nonsense, which looks too artificial–and the issue moves. It’s just a tired, scattershot storyline. Veitch is exhaustingly slow.
The Fire Next Door; writer and penciller, Rick Veitch; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Karen Berger; publisher, DC Comics.