Fables

Fairest #25

by Alan Rapp on April 8, 2014

in Comics

Fairest #25After her stepsister is quickly dispatched by the timely arrival of Rama and Veruna, Cinderella returns to Fabletown along with her friends to report her findings to Snow White setting up next month’s conclusion of “Of Men and Mice” and the fallout between sisters that threatens to shake the Fable Universe to its core.

I enjoyed the latest issue of Fairest, even if I was surprised how quickly the issue dispensed with the threat of Cindy’s evil stepsister (but Veruna was pretty damn cool). Bringing in the feud between Snow White and Rose Red from the main Fables comic continues to blend the two titles more strongly together in what is sadly their final year of publication.

The uprising of the mice which ends the issue sets up next month’s conclusion to the arc, but its the few panels involving the return of the Fairy Godmother’s memory which adds a new wild card to both the end of this arc and the stories still left to be told. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Fables #139

by Alan Rapp on April 6, 2014

in Comics

Fables #139The beginning of the end starts here. Picking up on Bill Willingham’s announcement that Fables will end with issue #150, the first part of a two-issue arc begins to put events in motion with the arrival of Danny Boy to the Farm and his mission to convince Seamus to return home with him to save Scotland from the evil Baoban Sith. Unwilling to let their band mate go alone, Peter Piper, Joe Shepherd, Puss in Boots, and Briar Rose all decide to accompany the pair to Scotland.

Much of the issue centers on the odd crew’s travels. Their eventual arrival isn’t as warm as they might like as the group walks right into a battle between demon dogs and giants which, apparently, costs one of the Fables their lives.

With nearly all of this issue being set-up there’s an awful lot for next month’s issue to get through. I’m also disappointed that the most interesting character of the group is the one who meets his downfall so early in the adventure. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Fairest #24

by Alan Rapp on March 16, 2014

in Comics

Fairest #24Cinderella‘s search into the army of rat men leads her to reconnect with two characters from her past. The first, the simple-minded mouse turned man Marcel, it seems is responsible for the birth of the rat army but not the nefarious purposes they have been put to recently. The second, however, is an old enemy who very much wants Cindy dead (I guess what they say about evil step-sisters is true).

After surviving the attack of her step-sister, Cinderella and Marcel escape on a boat bound for home, but (as the last couple of panels illustrate) getting away from an insane step-sister turned assassin is harder than it looks.

Although we don’t get much in the way of answers (which will likely be coming in next month’s issue), the latest issue of the arc delivers a pair of action sequences between Cinderella and perhaps her oldest nemesis as the story arc reaches its penultimate issue next month before concluding in Fairest #26. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Fables #138

by Alan Rapp on February 26, 2014

in Comics

Fables #138In a break before beginning the series next arc in Scotland, Fables #138 gives us a glimpse at the evil machinations of Gepetto who has grown tired of his recent position on the Farm and regain a bit of the power now lost to him. To that end he sends a small wooden soldier into the magic grove which he is barred from entering to retrieve the villain a bit of magic which may aid in his mischief somewhere down the line.

Presented mostly from the view of the noble and faithful knight Gepetto sends on a suicide mission (whose real purpose on the tinkerer truly knows), we see the wooden solider fight off a variety of obstacles (or to his view vicious monsters) before entering the heart of the grove and leaving with a tiny bit of magic which he returns to his master.

Slow simmering, the single issue lays the groundwork for Gepetto’s possible return to power sometime down the line while, as he notes, all eyes in Fabletown and the Farm are on threats elsewhere. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Fairest #23

by Alan Rapp on February 13, 2014

in Comics

Fairest #23Following the attempted assassination of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella continues to search for answers as to the identity of the person in control of the rat men’s attacks on Snow White and pulling the strings of the assassin sent to dispatch her godmother. Jumping around the globe, Cinderella will reunite with an old lover, finding a moment of peace in the eye of the storm, before also discovering that an old friend and enemy both mixed up in things.

The end of the issue brings Cinderella face-to-face with her stepsister (who has just shot a second person Cinderella cares for in front of her) setting up what should be a not-so-nice sisterly reunion next month.

Fairest #23 also gives quite a bit of time to one of the house rats turned into a man for Cinderella’s ball who has stayed human all these years (no turning back into a pumpkin for him) and may be the first real clue as allow Cinderella to discover what is going on. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Fables #137

by Alan Rapp on February 5, 2014

in Comics

Fables #137The Camelot storyline comes to an end as Rose Red chooses her first six new Knights of the Round Table (Brump, Wellstuffed, Bo Peep, Reynard, Maeve, and Lancelot), we see the power of her actions begin to manifest, and Lancelot discovers (much to his dismay) his role this time around.

Although the arc comes to an end, and much of the focus is on Red and her quest, the perspective of the issue is from that of Snow White‘s intriguing daughter Winter who is simultaneously both a small child wanting to protect her mother and a wise and immensely power creature of nature slowly building her own forces should there come a time when Rose Red and Snow White’s dispute turns violent.

Fables #136 also foreshadows the return of Bigby with the completion of his statue (except from a tiny piece made into a ring) and some ominous words from Winter suggesting that the wolf’s eventual return may not be the cause for celebration all may hope it be. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Fairest #22

by Alan Rapp on January 17, 2014

in Comics

Fairest #22Believing her fairy godmother to be the most likely suspect behind the rat men’s attacks on Snow White and herself, Cinderella heads to Ultima Thule where the witch has spent the last several years caged in the dungeon (or so everyone thinks). Finding the godmother’s wand but not the woman herself, Cinderella and Dickory head to Amsterdam to usher the absent-minded old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s out of a smoky pot den right before being attacked by another group of rat men.

The mystery thickens as the fairy godmother, not Cinderella, proves to be the target. And the woman pulling the trigger is someone whom she once knew quite well. Fairest #22 offers a couple of pieces to the puzzle, but none that give away anything about the reason behind the attempted assassinations and why a defenseless old woman was on the hit list.

Once again Marc Andreyko and artist Shawn McManus offer a fun adventure for Cindy and her mousey pal but we’ll have to wait at least one more issue to discover the identity of the man who has hired Cinderella’s step-sister as an assassin and what his end game entails. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Fables #136

by Alan Rapp on January 6, 2014

in Comics

Fables #136Revelations and discoveries are the major theme of the latest issue of the “Camelot” as the Lady of the Lake takes time to clue Rose Red in on some possible ramifications to her attempt to recreate Camelot which include new versions of the feuds that ended’s its first run, the possible interference of the Fates, and Rose Red’s true purpose in the undertaking.

Fables #136 also finally reveals the identity of the woodsman who, as suspected, is indeed one of King Arthur’s former knights, and (far more obscure than anyof the other reveals) offers a revelation for the Lady herself whose own fate is sealed when she comes face-to-face with one of Snow White‘s sons.

A very strong issue that continues the current story while laying the foundation for ramifications down the line by suggesting the evil to destroy the new Camelot is already in place. The issue also several times refers to the never-discussed parents of Snow White (who could play the role of Morgan le Fay this time around) and Rose Red as having some huge consequences of its own. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Fairest #21

by Alan Rapp on December 10, 2013

in Comics

Fairest #21For two years, since learning of the upcoming Fables spin-off, this is the storyline I have been waiting for. My initial foray into the Fables Universe didn’t come through the main title but a pair of mini-series featuring Cinderella. I immediately fell in love with the princess turned spy and I have been patiently (well, mostly patiently) awaiting her first appearance in Fairest. The wait is over.

Attacks on the life of Snow White and Cinderella’s shop bring the two Fables together (after Cinderella extricates herself from a group of trolls involved in sex trafficking) for the first issue of the series’ latest arc. Fairest #21 gives both female leads an opportunity to kick some ass and get their hands dirty as I’m sure the following issues will delve deeper into who is targeting them, and why.

I love the choice of returning artist Shawn McManus to draw the character (as he did for both Cinderella: Fables are Forever and Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love) and I’m looking forward to see where he and writer Marc Andreyko take Cinderella from here. Best of the week.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

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Top 10 Comic Issues of 2013

by Alan Rapp on December 6, 2013

in Top Tens & Lists

top-10-comic-issues-of-2013

Here’s my look back at the ten best single comic issues from the past year. Including ongoing series, one-shots, and mini-series, the only limitations I put on this list was that the comic had to have been released in 2013 (no reprints) and I limited myself to only a single issue from any one title. Because I was focusing on standout issues rather than consistently strong comics every month several of my favorite series missed the cut, but, if time permits, I may work up my regular list of best comic series of the past year as well.

[click to continue…]

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