Issue #125 of Fables was released last week, it’s hard to believe this series has been running for 11 years. The premise initial is simple, with a cast nearly everyone is familiar with. Characters from childhood stories and fairy tales apersonified and given cause. Snow White, Bigby Wolf (as in the Big Bad Wolf), King Cole, Pinocchio, and many others all live in a large community/neighborhood in New York city. Their homelands have been over run. A great force known only as the adversary has waged a campaign to concur the homelands, the different worlds they came from. Eventually they were forced to band together, fleeing to our world, the mundy. They’ve lived here for a couple hundred years, in secret.
As the stories progressed, we learned how they came to be this way, and more importantly what they plan to do about it. After 75 issues, there a resolution to their conflict with the adversary (whose identity will surprise you). The first 75 issues told an amazing story that I can’t recommend enough people pick up. The series was only on issue 50 when I discovered it. I tore through those first 50 issues in a day.
With the initial conflict settled the story continued into different plots to different levels of success. Some of the stories that followed were not up to the same quality as the opening tales, but were still entertaining. Now the series has had two spin of series, two stand alone graphic novels, two mini-series, and prose novel. Each followed different characters exploring different aspects of this world.
What happened to Pinocchio after his story ended and he became a real boy? Well the blue fairy’s magic work quite as planned and he stayed a little boy forever who now drinks and smokes. What about Cinderella, Snow White, and Briar Rose? Did they live happily ever after? Considering they all share the same ex-husband, Prince Charming, probably not. While there is plenty of plot development character progression isn’t sacrificed. Many characters get their own arcs where we learn more about them while still advancing the overall story. Arguable though, the main characters of the book would have to Snow White and Bigby Wolf, the deputy mayor and sheriff of this community.
Writer Bill Willingham has crafted an amazing story. He expertly weaves in foreshadowings for events that won’t pay of for some 30 issues in a major story arc. These aren’t subtle hints straining the readers memory either, they’re constant brought up keeping them fresh enough in the readers mind earning a worthy payout.
Artist Mark Buckingham illustrates the majority of the series. He offers a signature looks making each character instantly recognizable. The panels are wonderfully drawn, framed in a appropriate style echoing the events of the pages.
If you’re looking for a heartfelt story of loss, struggle, and triumph, I can’t recommend Fables enough.
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