Fade to Black (Fairlady #5 “The Case of the Missing Murderess” Comic Review)

Written by Brian Schirmer

Illustrated by Claudia Balboni

Colored by Marissa Louise, with Lesley Atlansky

Lettering/Design by David Bowman

Cover A by Jeremy Saliba

Cover B by Katie Longua

Fairlady Case File by Dani Colman

Edits by Dani Colman & Jeremy Saliba

Fairlady Created by Brian Schirmer & Claudia Balboni

In This Issue: Samanda Messilis, a woman Jenner has helped in the past, has been implicated in a series of murders. One of the fatalities was a Constable, which instantly gets Camershon and the Constabulary involved. Romar Darry, a Fairman, is also on the case. Jenner, who found Samanda after the woman had fled from her former employer (from whom she had stolen some money,) isn’t convinced that Samanda would have it in her to kill—let alone to kill three people. When she found Samanda, Jenner had taken her to The Village, a safe haven for the troubled of mind. Evidence points to the killings having been perpetrated by someone in a mad rage, but there was no reason for that. Samanda was free to come and go as she pleased. Her door was unlocked. Why kick it open? Samanda’s former employer was also found dead—mauled–by what was apparently a magic dagger. Guests of The Village give up their possessions voluntarily—where would a magic dagger be available? And since none of the witnesses to the incident at The Village can say for sure that the figure they saw come out of Samanda’s room was Samanda, who’s to say that it wasn’t someone—or something—else? Nothing is adding up, except to point Jenner in the direction of herself. What if someone is doing this deliberately to get at her? And why?

My Two Cents: Issue #5 of Fairlady will be its last, at least as it stands currently, and what a way to close out a series! It’s possible tht we will never know who “They” actually are, and what they’re after. Jenner may be left bleeding out on top of that cliff for eternity. (But hey, at least she looks awesome doing it.) Sad as it is that this is the end of the line for our heroine, she got the same stellar treatment as she did in the first four issues of the series. Plot lines were tight, art and color were on point, dialogue was snappy. The pacing in issue #5 was appropriately frenetic, and though it could easily have gotten confusing since the chosen format this time around made several jumps in chronology, it miraculously did not. There was a cinematic quality to the art in this issue which suited the non-linear storytelling. We were also treated to more depth of character with Jenner than we had been previously, and that was a delightful insight, though sadly coming at a point where it won’t be continued. I know I’m not the only person who is going to miss Fairlady, but I’m certainly glad for the issues we have!

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Elizabeth Fazzio

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Summary
The news that Fairlady will not be returning after this issue—at least for the foreseeable future—was incredibly disappointing. The 'full-story-within-a-larger-series' format is practically unheard of in comics, and a large portion of the appeal of Fairlady is the fact that a reader can enter the series at any issue and be able to enjoy it without having to go back to the beginning in order to understand what's happening currently. We're also losing a fun, well put together, and beautifully executed book, which is more than enough reason to pout. And pout I have! I'll miss Fairlady and its colorful world of diverse inhabitants and underhanded deeds. I'll miss impulsive-but-thoughtful Jenner and no-nonsense Oanu and stroppy sorcerous Nejla and maybe even that jerk Camershon...but probably not as much as the others. So yes, it's a big fat bummer to see Fairlady end, but who knows? We may eventually get it back, and it's a given that the Fairlady team will bring the same spark to their new projects.
Good
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
  • Story elements are balanced
  • Seamless worldbuilding
  • Layered storytelling
  • Varied and interesting universe inhabitants
Bad
  • It's over! :(
9
Amazing
Art - 9
Story - 9
Writing - 9
Predictability - 9
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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