Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'The Fade Out' #12 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser


★★★★★ (5/5)

If you thought Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips brilliant Hollywood murder tale, The Fade Out, was going to end in some kind of fairytale ending then you haven't been paying attention. In a world full of people pretending to be other people you never know who you can trust and Charlie learns that the hard way and despite his efforts becomes another cog in a corrupt unsympathetic machine.

'The Fade Out' #12 puts things into perspective as people disappear or die and the concern is not the who or the why but how can this freight train of a studio system can keep chugging along without disruption. After all, the only people really worried about solving the murder of Val Sommers are two writers who are unqualified, desperate and on the sauce. Charlie and Gil have no business shaking the trees looking for answers to questions no one but them are asking. 

Brubaker lays out the reveal of Val's murder in a matter-of-fact way that fills the gap of our curious mind but there's no solace in the truth.Val was just a stumbling block to be fixed to keep the status quo as much as possible. In the end, Charlie learns "girls die for nothin' and old men cry about it, and the business keeps on going." Some people still benefit in one way or another, receiving a consolation prize in the form of a better position or a new relationship, content to be rewarded even if it's not what they really wanted. Either way, many are better off then when 'The Fade Out' began. There's no happy ending because happiness isn't part of the equation for surviving in Hollywood. Resigning oneself to moving upward and off the floor is well enough. 

One of the treats for me as a Southern California native is seeing local cities represented especially the ones that don't exist anymore. Phillips is not just the brilliant artist but the co-writer in pictures. It's what makes Brubaker and Phillips such a potent combo. Every line of dialogue and every panel of art deliberately tells the story. Whether it's a single curse word or a look of anxiety, the story is unfolding before your eyes without a false beat or wasted moment. Elizabeth Breitweiser ties it all together in a tapestry of muted colors that seem almost sorrowful. 

Few have ever captured the look, the feel, and tone of a bygone Los Angeles like Phillips has. The crowded streets in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the dilapidated fences and tall weeds of Chavez Ravine, the bright and hopeful entrance of a studio hiding the dark secrets that drive success but kill the soul. Phillips has done some of his best work once again. 

'The Fade Out' ends in a sudden and blunt way it won't offer any satisfaction and warm fuzzy feelings. Especially because Charlie, drunk and a hot mess, cowers under the bright lights of Hollywood as if the town is laughing at him mocking him. Feeding him the truth without justice or resolution but keeping him alive to work in this cesspool of humanity again. No slow fade out or prologue delivered and that's the perfect conclusion to this bleak tale. It's not the ending we wanted but it's the ending we deserve. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Redneck' #2 by Donny Cates, Lisandro Estherren, and Dee Cunniffe

'Redneck' arrived a month ago redefining the vampire genre by not giving into convention or cliché. In fact, if you've read the first two issues, the vampire angle serves more as subtext than its selling point. It's the perfect approach to this character-driven southern fried drama that simmers with tension and intrigue.

REDNECK #2 STORY: DONNY CATES
ART/COVER: LISANDRO ESTHERREN & DEE CUNNIFFE LETTERER: JOE SABINO
RELEASE DATE: MAY 24
32 PAGES | Full Color | Mature | $3.99
★★★★☆ (4/5)
The Bowman's way of life just got upended and what was once a peaceful and secluded existence is on the verge of war. The vampires of Texas keep to themselves, raise their cattle, drink its blood and sell the meat through their BBQ joint. Seems like a brilliant front to keep them in the shadows while staking out a living. All that is threatened when one of their own is killed after a night on the town. This issues fills in the holes to what might have happened and what the hell is…

PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

PREVIEW: 'Project Superpowers' #1 by Rob Williams and Sergio Davila

The Project Superpowers heroes came from the past, now they have to prove their relevance in the modern world. A 21st Century threat is coming for us all. What dread secrets does The Death Defying Devil hold? The Lighthouse will rise and the Spirit of The American Flag will take on a new host. But will it be enough? Can superheroes still save the day?


Project Superpowers #1
writer: Rob Williams artist: Sergio Davila covers: Francesco Mattina (A), Ed Benes (B), John Royle (C)               Philip Tan (D), JG Jones (E) Stephen Segovia (F)               Sergio Davila (G), Philip Tan (RI-B/W)               J.G. Jones (RI-Sepia), Ed Benes (RI-Virgin)               Francesco Mattina (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+  












REVIEW: 'Death or Glory' #2 by Rick Remender and Bengal

After a raucous debut, 'Death and Glory' takes a weird turn. Like a really weird turn. Imagine David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino had a baby and out came out issue two of this new series from Rick Remender and Bengal. The question is is that a good or bad thing?


DEATH OR GLORY #2  
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Bengal Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: June 6, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
With a botched heist job, a bullet in her side, and all her money gone, Glory wrestles with what to do next. The cargo her ex-husband was trafficking wasn't drugs but people and after putting them all safely on a bus to Arizona, she's broke and being attended to by one of the Brazilians that stayed behind. Her scheme was pretty straight-forward - rob the money that the dirty sheriff was going to transport and use it for her dad's surgery. Easy peasy. Then it all went to hell as the sheriff recognized her, she dropped the money, and now no one is happy, not the sheri…