Issue #13 of Fatale is another flashback “episode”, standalone in its story and loosely related to the overall arc of the continuing story. Many elements are the same but the story is different. The stories feature, if not immortality, the ability to cheat death for a time and horrific consequences for many of those surrounding our main character, especially after her final demise. This story, however, is less about bare survival and escape and more about the protagonist finding some answers, which — don’t worry, reader — we still don’t have any of!
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
I think the femme fatale (dark haired so far being a theme), Bonnie, is a little more compelling in this vignette as opposed to the last lady on offer (literally and figuratively) and the story as a whole is more gripping. She’s a woman who realizes her power and uses it; she changes with her circumstances but she doesn’t let them rule her. That is, until the day she met Milkfed, a Native American man on whom her powers didn’t work. This meeting, culminating in her dying (for the second of a prophesied three times), is where the story starts to actually get interesting.
We find out that Milkfed is working for a mysterious Professor Waldo who needs Bonnie to help steal a book from a cult. This book will have the answers she is looking for, only the help she will be providing isn’t exactly the kind she had assumed. She’s bait — something about her presence calls out to the cultists, drawing them like moths to Milkfed’s firearm flame. They take on the assembly while the Professor goes in to look for the book, which has the answers for Bonnie, but not for the audience. The two of them are vastly outnumbered and the threat level is heightened by the knowledge that Bonnie has already died twice — if the cultists get her now and kill her it will be for the last time. Readers will know that when one of these supernaturally endowed women die, it’s not good news.
In an interesting, but probably unnecessary twist, Professor Waldo turns out to be Milkfed’s mother(?). I’m not really sure what that had to do with anything and if it doesn’t tie in later in any other vignette or main story arc I’m not really sure of the point. Everything else has a point, Bonnie will die three times and like her predecessor when she dies it wreaks havoc on the locale where she died. Milkfed was there to procure Bonnie for the Professor. Bonnie was there to be bait for the cultists, since she’s obviously supernatural and we can only assume her “condition” is related in some way to the cult’s activities or deities. Professor Waldo being Milkfed’s mother really was kind of a nowhere frame that I had initially looked over completely.
Overall, I really enjoyed this installment, even more than the last vignette. It continues to build on the mysteries that have been in the background of our minds reading this far: Who are these women? Is it only women who have this brand of immortality or at the very least longevity? What is the cult and what are the ends it seeks? How do these women relate to the overall story being told? We’ll just have to keep reading and find out.