Friday, July 25, 2014

30 Days of Fatale: Eyes Without a Face.

Fatale #21
released March 26, 2014
following a six-page preview

With Nicolas being taken to Josephine's secret base -- or "inner sanctum" -- we finally discover what she's really been doing since leaving Hollywood in 1978.   Following the events in "The Devil's Business," Jo sought out someone else like Mirela the gypsy and Walt Booker, an ally who "saw the true clockwork of the world."

She found the librarian Otto.  His grandfather was "some half-Indian mystic," and as a boy Otto had been marked with the tattoos that made him immune to Jo's powers.  In issue #13, we meet the Indian Milkfed, who is also immune to Jo's powers because of the markings on him -- "tattoos and paint" -- and we discover that he's the Professor's son.  As we've speculated previously, perhaps Otto is Milkfed's grandson.

Either way, we notice that there isn't an organized group whose aim is to fight and defeat the Bishop and his cult, nothing like a holy order of knights that persisted into the 21st century.  And we see no evidence of angels or other otherworldly beings helping the humans against the Bishop's dark gods.  The optimist might hope that the universe of Fatale has a benevolent Supreme Being who trusts His human creations and their abilities to fight the demons and their worshippers, but the genre of noir emphasizes hopeless causes in an uncaring cosmos.  The best we can hope for in this story is agnosticism about a good and sovereign deity.

Known only as "the librarian" in the previous arc, it was Otto who had sent Jo and her friend Gavin to find some occult literature in Seattle, and it appears that, by now, they have a plan of attack against the Bishop.


With Nicolas' help, Jo retrieves a very special box from the rich sadist Nathan, who was holding it to keep it safe.

The box contains the Bishop's orange and inhuman eyes, which Walt Booker had cut out of him in 1956, at the end of "Death Chases Me."

It's our theory that Hank Raines had custody of these eyes upon his death in 2011, at the very beginning of the series.  With his knowledge of spells and magic drawings, he was able to protect himself and his possession until his death, at which time Jo -- and the Bishop's inhuman goons -- came looking for them.

If Jo was looking for the Bishop's eyes, she wasn't looking for Hank's early manuscript, which may be why she left the manuscript with Dominic.  Perhaps she continued to trail Dominic, the executor of Hank's estate:  she intercepted the investigator Mark Garvin before he found Dominic, and she used Garvin to get to the Santa Barbara bank box before Dominic did.

Notice that the safe deposit box is about the right size to hold the small box of the Bishop's eyeballs.

And notice that, when the Bishop's goon attacks Nicolas outside the Savings and Loan, he keeps asking for something in the plural.
"Just stay calm, Mr Lash and tell me where they are.  Where are they?" [emphasis mine]
Johnny Lash opened the safe deposit box in 1959, the year after Hank and Jo left San Francisco.  Jo apparently always wanted to keep herself well away from those eyes, perhaps for fear that she would be tempted to look at them or perhaps from the understandable dread that the Bishop would be able to track her from her proximity.

After retrieving the eyes from the safe box around 2012, the year after Hank's funeral, she had apparently put them in Nathan's custody until she was ready for them, which she was in early 2014.

She  opens the box and looks at its contents, and somewhere else, the Bishop realizes that Jo has his eyes.

Even with just one issue left, I'm fairly confident that wasn't the last time those eerie eyes appear in the story.

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