Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are already back with The Fade Out. If you haven’t seen these guys work together, then this is a perfect chance to start. The Fade Out has all that fantastic style that Brubaker and Phillips bring to their work. So let’s start with the art. It looks a lot like Fatale with its rich characters and dark colors. I just love when a character is shown in a close up with deep shadows on his/her face. You can tell something is hidden, but you can never really make it out. It is typical with each comic these guys do. Then you dive into the story and it all just gets better. They have this smoky mystery with the plot. It is hard to put any of their issue down half way through, because the story is always growing. Even at the end, the story grows within the reader. You have to keep going until you are full-fledged addicted to the comic through and through. So if you have read a Phillips and Brubaker comic, then you probably have already picked up this issue knowing the above.
Alright let’s dive in... just a little bit. It’s 1948 and we are following Charlie Parish, a screenwriter in L.A. He wakes up from a wild party not having the slightest clue where he is or the full circumstances of the night before. But before we even get to that part, the comic starts off a little different. Charlie is thinking about phantom planes after the attack on Pearl Harbor. At first it is just a story. But after finishing the comic, I realized that I had forgotten all about this beginning story. I went back to reread it and it is seemingly unimportant, but clearly the tale or probably the meaning behind it will all come back. That is why I love this team, because we can read a full mini story that will turn out to be the key to everything. I don’t think anyone will completely understand it until the end of the series, but love putting forth the rooted idea.
Okay so Charlie is starting to piece together his night and then suddenly remembers where he is only to find an actress dead on the ground. He quickly hides the evidence that he was ever there and moves on with his day. When the world finds out about her death, it is fabricated that she committed suicide. Charlie’s movie, starring the young lady, is on hold. Although Charlie is an interesting guy, I think the side characters are more interesting.
His best friend, although I don’t know, is Gil, a drunk who used to be a writer. Then there is Dotty. I would say she is the forgotten girl because she never gets to go the party or she never gets the man, but she works publicity. And we have Earl, a movie star who hosts the most epic L.A. parties. He held the party that Charlie can only sort of remember. It seems like all the characters just move on with their day once finding out about their dead star. Actually it doesn’t even seem like they care. Even Charlie is distant about the subject, but he can’t help but piece the night together or think about this woman he once protected or forget about the cover up he did at her place.
The comic is a pretty straightforward story, but when the actress is put in a suicide position, it makes you think there is more to this story than you think. You really can’t trust anyone, as of yet. Not even Charlie. We don’t know what happened at the party either, so as Charlie pieces it together so does the reader. It is a fun detective game that will no doubt drive Charlie to find out the truth. Brubaker and Phillips have another hit on their hands, so avid readers of these two can expect something good. And first come readers can get hooked with this pair that will be giving the story of their life.
Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Sean Phillips Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 8/20/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital