Fatale Book 3: West of Hell

fatale book 3 west of hell cover trade paperback ed brubaker sean phillips
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Like the anthology nature of this volume

Too short

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Fatale

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Ed Brubaker

Artist:  Sean Phillips

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2013


Fatale #12

Reprints Fatale #11-14 (January 2013-May 2013).  Josephine is a woman searching for answers in 1936 and 1942 but her search could reach far into the past.  With counterparts named Mathilda and Bonnie living in the Middle Ages and the Old West, Jo finds that the past she cannot remember could be more ancient that she ever believed.  Now, Jo finds herself hunted like the women of her past…and the cult searching for her has the means to capture her.

Written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Sean Phillips, Fatale Book 3:  West of Hell is the third volume of the critically acclaimed supernatural noire thriller.  Following Fatale Book 2:  The Devil’s Business, this four issue collection of Fatale features more stand-alone issues.

Fatale is a fun concept.  It takes the classic femme fatale (usually a supporting character in noire novels) and crafts a story around her…combined with a supernatural twinge.  Though short, I think this volume nails part of what makes this series interesting.

Fatale is really playing with the crime format.  While Josephine is the main character, she really generally is still treated as the supporting character throughout this series.  As the series unfolds, you get more and more background on Josephine and it just raises more questions on her eternal life and from where it comes.  This series has Josephine taking more of a center stage than previous volumes and the exploration enriches the series.


Fatale #13

This volume is unique in that it has no central story like the previous volumes.  The themes are the same, but this is much more stand-alone based.  I particularly like the first story about the author which is a thinly veiled version of Conan the Barbarian creator Robert E. Howard who was an admirer and helped expand H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythology in series like Weird Tales.

I like that Brubaker samples a whole bunch of different periods because it allows for more artistic variety for Sean Phillips.  Phillips does a great job capturing the noire style and with the different periods, it is interesting to see how it is applied to things like the Middle Ages and the Old West…whether it works or not can be debated, but I enjoy the attempts.

Fatale is a great read and continues to be one of the different books on the market right now.  It has a wide appeal for readers of crime, mystery, and fantasy and with a character with such a rich and unexplored history, Brubaker has a license to keep writing as long as he wants as long as he has some sort of endgame planned.   Fatale Book 3:  West of Hell is followed by Fatale Book 4:  Pray for Rain.

Related Links:

Fatale Book 1:  Death Chases Me

Fatale Book 2:  The Devil’s Business

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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