Review: ‘Clown Fatale’ #1

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A pulpy punch of crime and noir, “Clown Fatale” #1 bursts with raw energy that readers will definitely enjoy. Steeped in the noir genre, there is a dangerous assignment for our four protagonists with tons of excitement. Clowns and crime have a funny way of working together in this comic series.

WRITTEN BY: Victor Gischler
ART BY: Maurizio Rosenzweig
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: November 13, 2013

After graduating from the University of Texas, Chloe had big dreams for herself as an actress on Broadway. But then life dealt her a bad hand and the closest thing to an acting gig she could get was the clown role. Candy left her old life as a hooker and joined the circus with no regrets. After taking one too many beatings from her husband, Tina ditched her marriage and escaped town with the circus. There’s something very odd about Aya, who likes to strangle her teddy bear, but it’s best not to ask. When they are handed a job offer from a mysterious man, none of them can actually refuse the much-needed money. The problem is, they’re not the hired killers the mystery man was looking for.

Writer Victor Gischler delivers the brutal and cynical attitude you would expect from the noir genre. Chloe and the rest of the gang have become bitter after having fallen on hard times. Though the four protagonists get a chance for the spotlight, Chloe is the hard-broiled leader of the group. Gischler has done a great job capturing four different personalities and four distinct voices. You understand where each character is coming from and why they would choose their deadly assignment to murder a drug dealer.

What I definitely enjoyed about Gischler’s storyline is how he chose the Western landscape as his setting. Notice how Chloe and their drug dealer are sitting at their table, as if getting ready for a showdown. Throughout the narrative, Gischler is rampant with tough-talking dialogue and witty banter amongst the four. When the violence does happen, it comes out in surprising and shocking ways.

Because there are four different voices, artist Maurizio Rosenzweig illustrates four diverse outfits for the main leads. Chloe stands out from the gang because she has a star painted around her eye. Later on, we find out visually why she as a star on her face. When Chloe is not wearing her clown wardrobe, she is wearing a KISS T-shirt. Tina always has her nose painted red and Anya has a teddy around her arms, as if she’s holding a pet.

In the panels, Rosenzweig has either two of the four protagonists in the same shot or all of them together. Though they are angry all the time, Rosenzweig illustrates different facial expressions that fits each personality. When the circus manager berates the four, Candy is the saddest of the group as she comes close to crying. Chloe hides her feelings as she blows smoke at the camera. Moreno Dinisio fills each panel with a vibrant atmosphere because of his eye-catching colors.

Oozing with hyper-sexuality and tough-talking dialogue, “Clown Fatale” #1 ends up becoming a totally fun read. The “Clown Fatale” series has the right look and attitude to get you hooked.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis