Monday, July 14, 2014

30 Days of Fatale: The Owl and The Ribbon Around the World.

Fatale #12 was released on February 13th, 2013, on the heels of a five-page preview, and it's the furthest back our story evidently takes us.  Set in France in AD 1286, "A Lovely Sort of Death" tells the story of Mathilda, one of Jo's predecessors.

Even Mathilda apparently wasn't the first "Consort," and the story shows the same cult from the 20th century, in a different guise:  "the order," noted for the yellow cross sewn into their tunics and led by another Bishop, a predecessor of the monster chasing Josephine.   Ganix was a "watchman" who fell for Mathilda and protected her instead of betraying her to the order.

Mathilda had been burned at the stake -- an understandable response from a town tormented by her curse -- but her powers caused her executioners to kill each other and kept her from dying.  In the "beatific afterglow" of the pain of death, she saw the world's secret paths "and the things that walked upon them," some of the most uncanny things Sean Phillips has ever drawn.

One of those demons or spirits bears a striking resemblance to an owl, and the owl is a recurring figure in this story.

One of the fairy tales that Ganix would tell Mathilda at night is about an owl "with the thread of the world in its claw."

In the interlude that opens issue #3, Nicolas has been reading Hank's unpublished manuscript, "The Losing Side of Eternity."
...there had to be a reason the old man never let anyone see it.
But the only part that makes me think of Jo at all is a scene where an old woman tells a drunken Graves a bizarre fairy tale.
About a silk ribbon that's wound around the world every night, held in the beak of an owl.
At least I think it's an owl, from the description.
In the interlude for issue #8, Nicolas dreams about that owl, shown with a strangely human face, and he sees that same owl toward the very end of issue #23, before the cliffhanger ending.

Is this weird spectre that Mathilda sees in the woods that same owl-like creature?  Is there a deeper meaning to this owl with the thread of the world, or is it just a striking image that Brubaker evokes for this story?  And if there is a deeper meaning, will we discover it in the Fatale finale, or will Ed Brubaker keep it to himself?

The possibility of answers is another reason I'm anticipating issue #24.

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