Tuesday, July 08, 2014

30 Days of Fatale: A Closer Look at the Cult.

Fatale #7 was released on August 15th, 2012, on the heels of a six-page preview, and it continues the story set in the hedonistic Hollywood in the late 1970's.  The film Jo found with Miles documented some twisted ritual involving Miles' friend Suzy -- another bit of the horror that is only suggested and not shown -- and Jo wants to get her hands on the book they used prior to the ritual's sacrifice.

Jo wants to learn more about the cult and the dark forces that made her what she is, and in the course of this issue, we learn a few things ourselves.

First, I believe the series never actually uses the word "fatale" (for the literary archetype of the femme fatale), but here we finally learn the term the cult has for Jo and presumably her predecessors -- a term that I believe is used once and only once.

On the very last page, one of the Bishop's inhuman servants refers to Jo as "the Consort," which can mean a spouse, especially the spouse of a reigning monarch.  I'm guessing that she has a role in a perversion of a wedding ceremony, either the ritual that gave her the curse of immortality and power over men or the ritual that the Bishop has planned for Jo, resulting in a fate worse than death.

The Bishop was reincarnated at the end of "Death Chases Me," and he is now known as Hansel.  He is a charismatic, messianic figure -- really, an antichrist who is evidently more formidable even than Charles Manson -- and he leads the cult now known as the Method Church, a group that seems more out in the open than the red-robed group in 1950's San Francisco.

His followers include his inhuman servants, all uniformly bald and bespectacled, though each with their own name.  They met with Booker in Chinatown and have been hounding Nicolas in the present day.  Jo had wrongly assumed that they all perished in the earthquake at the end of the last arc.

But his followers also include human disciples, including Derek, who talks with Miles about where to find Suzy, and Stane, whom Suzy murdered in the previous issue.  The series goes to great lengths establishing the supernatural effect that Jo has on men, but in re-reading this issue, I notice that there doesn't appear to be a similar influence at work in the Bishop's human followers.

It's at least possible that these men are following the Bishop and his dark gods completely of their own free will, and, even in an imaginative horror story, that sort of willing submission to evil has the ring of truth.

Man's willingness to serve evil with eyes wide open is one of the most horrific suggestions in Fatale.

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