Yeah, the impulse is gone now. Brubaker’s initial excitement and the creative force of Fatale has petered out. It’s still a good comic book, it’s just not exciting. There’s not a single surprise this issue.
Brubaker changes gears a lot. The bad cop is now not only one of the protagonists, he’s also not quite as bad a cop as he could be. Sure, he makes deals with demons… but he still does his job.
And Hank–whose manuscript is based, potentially, on these events–ceases to be a protagonist for most of the issue. Brubaker instead treats him as a subject, which does make a lot of sense. Getting into his head after a literal monster kills his pregnant wife… it might be too much of a downer even for Fatale.
Conversely, Phillips excels with issue’s relative quiet. Both creators have gotten comfortable, but Phillips doesn’t become less exciting.
Death Chases Me, Chapter Four; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Dave Stewart; publisher, Image Comics.