I truly am fascinated by this comic. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have a way of capturing the reader into these lost yet gratifying moments. Sometimes I feel like their issues should be read one after the other to fully grasp the story. And believe me, this isn’t a bad thing but a definite plus. With The Fade Out, we go through so many different characters and names are being tossed around a lot. It leads to some guessing though of who is who even with the character card page at the beginning. But for some reason, it doesn’t matter. The small confusion you feel is nothing compared to the unveiling in each issue. The complexity of the story keeps building on top of each other. It is glorious to read and all of this lends itself to get the reader more involved with each issue. You want to figure out the mystery and with each issue, you feel like you are one step away from solving it(when really you are not)! The story starts off with Charlie and Earl going about their business, but really Charlie is thinking about Val. His days are getting tough. And watching the movie that Val was supposed to make being filmed with some other girl breaks his heart. Even Gil can’t stop thinking about Val. So the combination of these two guys working together every night on a film for Val will probably only lead to more problems. I don’t know if they will fight or somehow bond more over the incident, but either way, some explosion between the two will indeed take place.
I can say that the scenes that happen between Gil and Charlie are by far the best drawn pages. When Charlie flashes back to his forgotten night with Val, it is truly hypnotizing to watch. She really does become this ghost of the past haunting Gil and Charlie. I love it!
So the comic moves on and mostly focuses on Charlie and Earl. I don’t know what I feel about Earl yet, honestly I don’t know what I feel about Charlie either. For some reason, I don’t trust him. Maybe I should, but sometimes it is the quite polite ones that you need to watch out for. Most of the other characters, whether players, gamblers, drinkers, and so on, have these identities and stick to them. While Charlie doesn’t really have one to hold onto.
The two go out for the night where Charlie is on a “date” (he doesn’t know if it is really a date) with Dorothy or Dottie. She is a PR girl, so when Charlie quickly sees that she is going to this party to do some work, his mind goes somewhere else for the night. He thinks about old memories and photographs of people he once knew. The whole night is a drunken blur. We get pieces of the mystery that start to make sense, but just like the usual way of Brubaker and Phillips, the comic ends with a bigger mystery than before.
The Fade Out isn’t fading away anytime soon. So grab hold of this old-time Hollywood story and be prepared to take off. It is filled with suspense that only Brubaker and Phillips could get right.
Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Sean Phillips Colorist: Elizabeth Breitweiser Publisher: Image Comics Price: 3.50 Release Date: 1/7/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital