Adrienne Fox

Clown Fatale #4: A Welcome Ending

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Gischler and Rosenzweig bring you more violence and vixens in Clown Fatale’s explosive conclusion.

See my Clown Fatale #3 review.

Clown Fatale #4 cover vis darkhorse.com

Clown Fatale #4 cover vis darkhorse.com

Clown Fatale #4
Writer: Victor Gischler
Artist: Maurizio Rosenzweig
Colorist: Moreno Dinisio
Cover Artist: Tim Seeley
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: February 12, 2014

Issue #4 wraps up the plight of the ladies of Clown Fatale. Only two of the women are still alive. Their attempt to escape the oppressive circus is not without casualties (see issues 1-3) and most likely there will be a few more before this story ends.

We pick up right in the middle of a fire fight at the circus. And the body count is rising. Talbot gets news that his operation has gone to hell and high-tails it over there with shotgun in hand. Chloe is fighting off the Siberian assassin. Aya is overly concerned with cookies in cotton-candy boy’s tent when he touches her. Wrong move, dude. Talbot arrives on scene and catches up with Chloe in her tent. Then it’s all fighting and nonsense until Talbot is pinned by a car that ran him over. He has one bullet left in his gun. Should he use it on Chloe or on himself? Yada, yada, yada. Eventually the cotton candy truck drives off into the sunset.

Once again, I didn’t find this book or story to have many redeeming qualities. The hook is fun: female clowns mistaken for assassins decide to just go with it and mayhem ensues. I see the inspiration in the exploitation genre and the influence of Russ Meyer. All these women are built like the go-go dancers from Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Where Varla, Rosie, and Billie demonstrate power and command, the women in Gischler’s tale do not. Their story begins in desperation and ends in disaster with no empowerment in between. Toting a gun does not equal power.

Aya’s character was particularly problematic. She is infantilized and unstable. As the only Asian character, she knows martial arts and is good with a sword. She is the exotic beauty in Kabuki make-up. She is purely rooted in male fantasy. How many clichés must one character endure?

I know I said this in my last review, but I really would have liked these women have been actual clowns. People go to clown college to learn the craft. It is a skill. Clowns have personas that are funny or sweet and sometimes frightening. These women could have been smart and capable performers with a different motivation, than escaping oppression, to act on case of mistaken identity for $50K. The “clowns” in this story are dressed like hookers. This circus must be a very special adults-only establishment to employ these women as clowns. You know, on page 20, a traditionally costumed clown, with his wig on fire, streams past Chloe. There are actual clowns! Are these women really employed here? Their only purpose seems to be a reason to draw cleavage and thongs.

Recommendation: Read Gischler’s Kiss Me, Satan instead. It’s better executed within its genre than Clown Fatale.

Purchase a physical copy for yourself to be mailed to you: Clown Fatale #4

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